Terroir: Lavaux St Jacques sits directly adjacent to the Clos St Jacques vineyard. Domaine Armand Rousseau owns 3 acres of this Premiere Cru vineyard which sits in relatively flat terrain with exposure slightly to the southeast. Vines average 50 years old.
Vinification: Grapes are meticulously sorted as they arrive in the winery. Following a cool maceration lasting 5-7 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 blended unfiltered.
(aged in 80% new oak; for the past few years, Rousseau has vinified the upper and lower sections of his holding separately, then combined the two, although he still had a barrel of each held aside at the time of my visit): The blend:Vibrant dark red color. Aromas of raspberry and red licorice complicated by curry spices; plenty of oak showing. Wonderfully plush and sweet on entry, then juicy and youthfully imploded in the mid-palate, showing a fine-grained texture and outstanding verve to the flavors of raspberry, rose petal, spices, coffee and minerals. Already amazingly rich and tactile, this beauty finishes with outstanding energy, powerful backbone and rising length. (I also tasted both components of this wine; while both were outstanding, the one from the upper part of the slope showed uncanny energy and piquant floral and blood orange character. In a perfect world, it would be my everyday drinking wine. )
The 2014 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux Saint Jacques unfurls on the nose with red cherry and raspberry scents, a touch of bergamot in the background. The palate is crisp and taut on the entry. You are immediately struck by the fineness of the tannin here. Real energy and tension from the word go, with a lovely touch of cracked black pepper furnishing the finish. I have a penchant for this over the Cazetiers this year - perhaps to my surprise given the form of the latter in 2014.
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