|Burgundy||2005||Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Armand Rousseau||BT||1||0||45,000.00||12||12||5000||98.00||98.00||Chambertin Clos de Beze, Rousseau||0.75|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
This seems to have changed very little in the past 10 years and it would be fair to describe its evolution as glacial as the ripe but exuberantly fresh nose is even spicier than that of the ’05 Chambertin with kaleidoscopic breadth and depth. Like its stablemate this is a big and imposingly-scaled effort that possesses outstanding mid-palate concentration as the tannin-buffering sap completely coats the mouth on the explosively long, muscular and powerful finale. Despite the strikingly good size, weight and punch this remains a beautifully well-balanced effort that will need at least another 10 years of cellar time because even though it’s not quite as structured and backward as the Cham, it is nowhere close to being ready for prime time. That said, it should be genuinely breathtaking when it finally arrives at its apogee. Drink 2025+
A positively kaleidoscopic nose features a wonderful panoply of spice and fruit aromas that offer something new and different with every sniff. The rich, full and utterly classic flavors are a study of the harmonious liaison of refinement and power that culminate in an explosive and driving finish that is even longer than that of the Clos St. Jacques yet it sacrifices nothing in terms of balance, harmony or transparency. A strikingly good wine packed with upside potential. While pronouncements of this sort are always fraught, it's possible that the 2005 Bèze could one day rival the best Rousseau Bèze ever (in my view), which is the legendary 1962. Time will tell but it at least has a shot.
The 2005 Chambertin Clos de Beze offers alluring aromas of licorice, mint, vanilla, plum paste, cherry preserves and rose petals, and seduces the palate with silky, incredibly refined texture and several octaves of fruit, herbal, floral and mineral notes, leading to a reverberative finish in which fruit pit and stony, chalky elements lend a sense of dark, weighty authority and an umami-like, meaty savor promotes uncontrollable salivation. No layering or mixing of metaphors can hope to do justice to the layering and concatenation of flavors on display. With Eric Rousseau taking over increasingly from his father Charles, bottling may end up being slightly earlier than in the past, but such routine features as triage exclusively in the vineyards (not the press house), the inclusion of whole clusters and stems, precocious malolactic fermentation (although in 2005 and 2006, at least, Rousseau says he didn’t force this), reliance on older barrels, and an eventual light plaque filtration for all wines remain as before. Given the long-running success of these Pinots in subtly yet insistently conveying the distinct personalities of their sites and standing the test of time, some might well ask “why change the recipe?” while others will wonder whether the wines could be made even better. In any event, nature conspired to hand the new generation a vintage of historic dimensions.