2008 Domaine Armand Rousseau Mazy-Chambertin Grand Cru

Year: 2008
Appellation: Cote de Nuits
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 90-91
Vinous Media: 89
Burghound: 89-92
Red Wine
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"The Rousseau 2008 Mazy–Chambertin impresses the nose with ripe cherry, licorice, and an array of pungent spices. The wine bursts onto the palate with juicy exuberance and tactile impingement of spices, and finishes with lip-smacking length, hints of cherry pit bitterness, peat, charred red meats, and crushed stone adding interest. Athletically lean and energetic, this might well gain richness of texture in bottle, and I wouldn’t hesitate to hold some for a dozen or more years.

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: 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.)" (WA)

"Pale red. Red fruits, dried rose, mocha, leather and underbrush on the nose. Supple, saline, soil-driven wine, on the light side for a grand cru but with a firming edge of acidity. Nicely aromatic in the mouth but I wanted a bit more primary fruit and structure. Finishes with sneaky length." (IWC)

"In a sense, the contrast between this and the Charmes is a bit like that between the Lavaut and the Cazetiers because while this is also fresh and pure, the sauvage character of the red currant and plum aromas is quite strong and is followed by intensely earthy and well-muscled middle weight flavors that culminate in a stony and precise finish that also has a slight edge but overall, this is noticeably less austere than it usually is." (BH)