Robert Parker 89
Brightly redolent of fresh red currant and blackberry, accompanied by Lapsang tea, fennel, and maritime suggestions of brine and alkali, Rousseau’s 2008 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers displays incipient creaminess, but at the same time, tartness on the palate, with an invigorating sense of fruit skin and fine-grained tannins that lead to a finish of impressive grip. Like the corresponding Lavaux St.-Jacques, this is refreshing but short on richness, and the superior smell in the empty glass confirms the degree to which it is presently a bit reduced. And here too, I can envision 8-10 years of interesting evolution. 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 a oethey know what they’re doinga 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 (a oelong terma " 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: fleetingly, selectively, at a stage too early to merit reporting on in detail, although the trend was promising and Rousseau is keen on the results.) Importer: Frederic Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; tel. (212) 355-0700
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020
Bright medium red. Wilder, slightly reduced aromas of strawberry, raspberry and game. Silky in texture, at once broader and less delineated than the Lavaux. A distinctly more sauvage wine with more volume and tannic presence. This is from old vines, notes Eric Rousseau, adding that the Lavaux includes some young vines that give that wine more sucrosite and elegance.