Terroir: Domaine Armand Rousseau’s holding of 5.5 acres accounts for 40% of the total acreage of this famed Premier Cru, which many believe is of Grand Cru quality and one of the finest Premier Cru vineyards in the entire Côte d’Or. The walled vineyard sits just up the hillside from the village, well within site of the domaine. Exposure is to the east allowing the vines to soak up the morning sun.
Vinification: Grapes are meticulously sorted as they arrive in the winery. Following a cool maceration lasting five-seven days the must travels by gravity into barrel where it will stay for the entire vinification process lasting typically 18-24 months. Each Armand Rousseau wine is bottled unfiltered.
A discreet but not invisible touch of wood sets off an intensely floral nose that in particular displays notes of violet and lavender along with plum, black cherry, spice and gentle earth scents. There is once again excellent volume to the sleek but powerful and concentrated flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the moderately austere finish that also delivers superb persistence. While this too will require extended keeping it contrasts with the grands crus in that it should be approachable after only 6 to 8 years of bottle age.
The 2014 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint Jacques will be aged in 80% new oak, although my sample came from a new barrel. It has a very perfumed, voluminous bouquet with billowing red berry fruit, rose petals and subtle flinty aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine saline entry. You can feel the mouth tingling here with wonderful tension and poise on the sustained finish. This is a more linear "CSJ" than recent vintages, but no less entrancing. It challenges the Clos de Bze for the silver medal behind the Chambertin.
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