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2008 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1527662 90-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

Outer quote mark A surprisingly high-toned nose of cranberry and raspberry trimmed in a bit of warm earth introduces very forward yet precise flavors that are quite round and supple yet deliver excellent authority and impressive depth on the balanced and lingering finish. This is not a big example or even especially muscular but it's harmonious and should age well. Inner quote mark (1/2010)

90 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The Clos de la Roche was one of the few 2008 Rousseau wines that we tasted on this visit that was not singing, as it was a tad reduced and ready for a racking in the next several weeks. However, underneath the gentle touch of reduction was clearly a lovely bottle, but I may be underrating it just a tad by seeing it at such an inconvenient moment. The nose offers up a fine and quite sappy blend of cherries, beetroot, coffee, venison and a complex and nicely-etched base of soil. On the palate the wine is medium-full and nicely sappy at the core, with fine acids, moderate tannins and lovely length and grip on the tangy and complex finish. This will be very, very good, and perhaps even a bit better than my score suggests. (Drink between 2016-2040) Inner quote mark (12/2009)

90 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Pale-medium red. Musky cherry, fresh herbs, brown spices and menthol on the nose and palate; more primary than the Mazy-Chambertin. Then sweeter and larger-scaled but backward today and showing a medicinal austerity. I like this wine's intensity of flavor and palate presence. Finishes with a broad, fine dusting of tannins that spread out to saturate the palate and leave the taste buds vibrating. (ST) Inner quote mark (3/2011)

89-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark New leather, black tea, and bright cherry and plum scent Rousseau’s 2008 Clos de La Roche, which comes to the palate bright and with tart chew of fruit skins and smokiness of black tea serving for invigoration in a finish of impressive persistence. Less exuberant and multi-faceted today than the corresponding Mazy, this also displays more aggressive – faintly gum-numbing – tannins than the several wines that preceded it in the present line-up. Eric Rousseau did not begin harvesting until September 28, but was finished already on October 4, with – as usual – the entire burden of selection placed on his pickers. The resultant wines prove that, as he puts it “they know what they’re doing” and sorting tables are unnecessary. Grapes came in between around 12% and 13.2%, were virtually all destemmed, and were only lightly chaptalized. Levels of malic acid were however higher even than in 2004, reports Rousseau, who compares the fruit with that of 1996, but does not finger the wines as strong candidates for long-term aging (“long term” – bear in mind – meaning upwards of 20 years in the context of a Rousseau track-record). When I tasted his 2008s in late February, Rousseau was planning to bottle them in March or April, a bit earlier than usual, although several struck me as relatively unformed. But then, his malos had finished by July – not late in terms of the vintage. (Unfortunately, I had only one chance to taste Rousseau 2007s: (DS) Inner quote mark (6/2011)


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