2002 Rousseau Chambertin

2002 Rousseau Chambertin

Year: 2002
Appellation: Chambertin
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 94-96
International Wine Cellar: 93+
Burghound Rating: 92-95
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Producer note: Corinne Rousseau calls 2002 a "perfect vintage for Burgundy. There's ripe fruit, balance, perfect ripeness of the tannins and good concentration. It combines the richness of 1999 with the acidity and elegance of 1996; it's a complete vintage. We didn't have to chaptalize any of our wines, not even at the villages level. At the moment, the 2002s are less forward and expressive than the '99s were at the same time but there's an underlying tenderness to the wines and I suspect they will open quickly once they're in bottle. The fruit characteristics are interesting as well and here at the domaine, the 2002s have almost exclusively black fruit aromas. The wines are perhaps less gifted at the level of terroir than the '01s but are certainly superior to the '99s in this respect. By contrast, the '02s are definitely richer than their '01 counterparts and every bit as pure. In short, 2002 is a vintage I like a lot". For readers who may not be aware, the oak regimen chez Rousseau varies considerably, with the Gevrey up though the Mazis being aged in 2 year old wood, the Clos de la Roche and Ruchottes in 15% new wood and the "big three" in 100% new wood. The present plan is to bottle as usual in July though some of the lower level wines might be bottled in May, depending on how the fruit matures.

Tasting note: This too is incredibly complex but the essential character of the wine is quite different as the Bèze is built more along the lines of elegance and finesse in 2002 whereas the Chambertin is classic in style with its robust power and obvious muscularity all wrapped in prominent but fine tannins. I particularly like the inner mouth perfume here and while this is certainly a forceful, intense wine, it's not a bruiser as there is excellent precision and purity of expression here as well plus it enjoys exceptional balance as well. A great effort. 92-95 points - Burghound Jan '04

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Mar/Apr 05
Deep ruby-red. Subdued but complex aromas of black fruits, licorice, bitter chocolate and fresh herbs. Extremely dense but backward, with superb purity and penetration of black fruits, bitter chocolate and licorice. Wonderfully sweet and aromatic in the mouth, but rather brooding today, and a bit closed in on itself. Very slow-building finish shows substantial but fine tannins and outstanding length. Much less open to inspection today than the Clos de Beze, but I would not be at all surprised if this proved to be the superior bottle 10 or 12 years down the road. 93+ points

The 2002 Chambertin Clos de Beze bursts with spicy red cherry aromas. This medium to full-bodied wine has an exceptionally spicy personality that is crammed with red licorice (Twizzlers), candied raspberries, Asian spices, and blackberries. Wonderfully focused and armed with substantial depth, this medium to full-bodied wine’s exceedingly long finish displays awesomely ripe tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020. 94-96 points - Wine Advocate #153


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