Not Versus, but Alongside


There are two premiers crus most people would agree are the closest to deserving promotion to grand cru: Chambolle-Musigny, Les Amoureuses and Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Saint-Jacques. I hope this will never happen. Elevate these and the proprietors of others – Nuits Saint-Georges, Les Saint-Georges and many more - will start staking their claim, and a precedent will be set which will wind up with our having 50 grands crus. It will dilute the whole concept. No. Let's leave things as they are. The wines already sell at grand cru levels. Those who possess Amoureuses sell it for the same as their Bonnes-Mares. Others who have Clos Saint-Jacques price it higher than Charmes or Mazis. Who needs grand cru status?

Chambolle-Musigny, Les Amoureuses measures 5.12 hectares and is divided up between 13 growers. Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Saint-Jacques is a little more extensive, at 6.72 hectares, but has fewer proprietors, five in total.

In March 2013 the Guilford, CT, group tasted the wines of both vineyards in alternate flights over two dinners. Almost without exception the Amoureuses were delicious. The majority of the Clos Saint-Jacques were fine too.

Chambolle-Musigny, Les Amoureuses

Optimum Drinking

2002 Drouhin From 2015

Fullish colour. Ripe, fragrant, balanced, stylish nose. Lovely attractive fruit. Now beginning to soften, but still a little raw. Medium-full body. Very good energy and balance. Lots of finesse. Long, complex and classy. Very fine.

2002 Jadot From 2018

Full colour. Backward, concentrated but still quite chunky on the nose. Better on the palate. Full bodied and tannic, but profound and very classy. Excellent grip. Splendid fruit. A keeper. Very, very fine.

2002 Mugnier From 2014

Fullish colour. Fresh, fragrant nose. Good substance.Very elegant and quite high toned. Some development here. Just about ready. Excellent complex fruit. Will be smooth and silky and archetypal Amoureuses. A very subtle wine. Very, very fine.

2002 Roumier From 2016

Fullish colour. Ripe, roast chestnutty and oaky on the nose. Even a touch sweet. Less sweet as it developed. Now beginning to soften. Fullish body. Very classy fruit. Composed and balanced. Very fresh. Very lovely long finish. Very, very fine.

2002 De Vogüé From 2016

Fullish colour. The nose shows volume and concentration but is still a bit tight. Medium-full body. Good depth and dimension if not the flair of Roumier or Mugnier. Quite oaky which makes it a little rigid. Vigorous finish though and it finishes better than it starts. Very fine.

1999 Drouhin Now-2025 plus

Medium-full colour. Now some maturity. Good plump nose if without the depth and class of Groffier and Mugnier. Yet pretty damn good nevertheless. Better still as it evolved. Medium-full body. Just about ready. Excellent balance and very lovely fruit. A very lovely, elegant, complex, vigorous wine. Very fine.

1999 Groffier Now-2025 plus

Full colour. Not much sign of maturity. Ripe, plump nose. Full of fruit. A touch of oak. Succulent and classy. Fragrant and delicious. Quite full bodied. Lovely ripe fruit. Balanced, Long. Complex and stylish. Only just about ready. Very, very fine.

1999 Jadot From 2015

Fullish colour. Now some maturity. This no longer has the solid aggressivity of most young Jadot wines. Concentrated, profound and high quality. Fullish body. Ripe. Rich. Vigorous. Splendid finish. Lovely fruit. Very, very fine.

1999 Mugnier Now-2025 plus

Very full colour. Still quite immature looking. Delicate on the nose though. Very lovely refined fruit. Subtle and complex. Medium-full body. Still a little raw. But very lovely, fragrant, multi-dimensional fruit on the palate. Excellent. Only just about ready.

1999 Roumier Now-2025 plus

Full colour. Approaching maturity. High toned nose. Very lovely fragrant fruit. Still a little closed. Medium-full body. Very finely balanced. Profound and classy. Lovely finish. Excellent.

1996 Mugnier Now-2025

Full, mature colour. Fragrant, ripe flowery fruit on the nose. Lovely balance and lots of class. Fullish body. Harmonious. Complex. Profound. Still youthful. Very fine indeed.

1996 Roumier Now-2025

Medium-full colour. Just about mature. Lovely flowery-fragrant nose. Fullish body. Ripe, classy and very lovely. Balanced. Fresh. Mature but vigorous. Now mellow. Lovely finish. Very, very fine.

1996 De Vogüé Now-2020 plus

Fullish colour. Just about mature. Nice warm, round nose. No obtrusive acidity. Good substance. Some oak. Fatter than Roumier but perhaps not as classy. Fine plus.

1995 Drouhin From 2015

Full, mature colour. Splendid rich, profound nose. Delicious fruit. Sizeable but not a bit too tannic. Indeed very fine balance and lovely rich fruit. Still needs a year or two. Very fine.

1995 De Vogüé From 2017

Full colour. Still immature. A bit closed on the nose at first. But rich, concentrated and high quality. Tannic but the tannins very sophisticated. Full body. Very good grip. Rich underneath. Impressive finish. Potentially very fine. But still needs time.

1993 Drouhin Now-2018 plus

Medium-full mature colour. Soft nose. Ripe, round, plump and elegant. Lots of class. Medium-full body. Fresh, charming and subtle on the palate. Very lovely fruit and a fine long finish. Delicious now. Very fine.

1993 Groffier Now-2020 plus

Full colour. Only just mature. Aromatic, succulent energetic nose. Good acidity. But nice and fat and concentrated. Full body. Balanced. Rich. Good depth. Quite a meaty example. Vigorous at the end. Fine.

1993 Mugnier Now-2020 plus

Fullish mature colour. Delicious, fragrant, vigorous fruit on the nose. Great class. Medium-full body. Lovely balance. Intense. Complex. Profound. Very elegant. Very lovely long finish. Very fine plus.

1993 Roumier Now-2020 plus

Fullish mature colour. Very classy nose. Fresh. Lovely fruit. Discreet, complex and multi-dimensional. Fullish. Very complex. Lovely balance. Splendid profound fruit. Perhaps the best of the 1993s. Very, very fine.

1993 De Vogüé Now-2020 plus

Full colour. Barely mature. Quite a firm nose. Plenty of weight, depth and concentration. Still youthful. Quite a big wine. Lots of depth and very good grip. Yet not as complete or as harmonious as Mugnier or Roumier. Is it just a bit clumsy? Fine.

1990 Drouhin Now-2020 plus

Good fullish colour. Vigorous but mature. Very delicious on the nose. Plump and harmonious. Classy fruit and lovely balance with a touch of oak. Medium-full body. Complex. Long. Intense. This is very lovely and will last for ages. Excellent.

1990 Groffier Now-2020

Full colour. Still very youthful. Rich nose, just a little four square. Full body. Good grip. Very good fruit. But not the silk and class of the other 1990s. Fine plus nevertheless.

1990 Jadot Now-2025 plus

Full colour. Barely mature. Quite a full nose. Lots of depth and energy. Very elegant fruit. Profound and very well balanced. Full body. A touch of oak. Long and classy. Splendid.

1990 Roumier Now-2025

Good fullish, mature colour. Very lovely nose. Profound. Balanced. Multi-dimensional. Medium-full body. Intense. Aromatic. Very classy. Very complex. Splendidly harmonious. This is brilliant. But perhaps the 1993 is yet more brilliant.

1988 Drouhin Now-2018

Medium-full colour. Fully mature. Rich, round, vigorous, quite full on the nose. Medium-full weight on the palate. Ripe. Balanced. Classy. Complex. Fresh and long on the palate. Not quite the vigour of Mugnier but fine plus.

1988 Groffier Now-2020

Fullish colour. Mature but vigorous. Plenty of volume here, but a little cumbersome. Some oak. Fullish body. Good balance. Attractive, juicy fruit. Less rigid on the palate than on the nose. Indeed no lack of depth and class. Fine.

1988 Mugnier Now-2020 plus

Medium to medium-full colour. Soft, plump, fragrant, petits fruits rouges nose. Fresh and promising. Medium to medium-full body. Ripe and balanced. Good grip. Complex and elegant. Fine stylish finish. Very fine.

1988 De Vogüé Now-2018

Fullish colour. Mature but still vigorous. Full nose. Ripe, but a little four-square. Better on the palate. A fullish meaty wine nevertheless. Lacks a little grace. Very good indeed.

The tasting finished with a 1966 De Vogüé, which was undistinguished and fell apart in the glass.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Saint-Jacques

2005 Bruno Clair From 2017

Full colour. Still very immature. Splendid nose. Lovely concentrated fruit. Very fresh and balanced. Very complex and classy. Fullish body. Composed, a touch oaky, harmonious and subtle. Excellent.

2005 Fourrier From 2017

Full colour. Still youthful. Fresh, fullish, quite meaty nose. At first a bit four-square. Improved in the glass though. Full body. Good fruit. Good grip. Some tannin, and the tannins a little rigid. But not too much so. Fine but not great.

2005 Jadot From 2020

Fullish colour. Still youthful. Firm, rich, gently oaky nose. Plenty of weight, depth and vigour. Very good concentration. This has the usual somewhat rigid taste of young Jadot wines. But the elements are all here and very well balanced. Needs time but very fine.

2005 Rousseau From 2019

Full colour. Still youthful. Expressive nose nonetheless. Excellent richness and depth. A touch of oak. Full body. Lovely ripe, classy tannins. Very good grip. Old viney concentration. Splendid harmony. Excellent.

2002 Jadot From 2018

Fullish colour. Still youthful. Full, rich concentrated nose without being a blockbuster. Fat and meaty and rather more black fruit than red. This still has some tannin to resolve. Fullish body. Richer and fatter than Rousseau. More to it, it seemed. Yet the finish was a bit abrupt. So in the end I rated them equal.

2002 Rousseau From 2015

Fullish colour. Still youthful. Quite a fragrant nose after the 2005. Lovely ripe, stylish fruit. Lots of depth. Plump and red fruit flavoured. Some oak. Medium-full body. Good depth, but not the class or complexity of the 2005. Very fine nonetheless.

2001 Jadot From 2015

Splendid colour for a 2001. Youthful nose. No great richness or complexity but balanced and fruity and quite powerful for the vintage. Still some tannin. Lots of depth. Indeed high quality. Very fine indeed for the vintage.

2001 Rousseau Now-2017

Medium colour. Now mature. Light but clean and fragrant on the nose. Medium body. A bit simple on the palate. Decent fruit. Somewhat raw. Lacks succulence and a bit of charm. I expected better.

2000 Rousseau Now-2020

A bigger, more vigorous colour than the 2001. Rounder and richer and more profound on the nose. Ripe. Balanced. Postive. A point. Much better than the 2001. Curious.

1999 Fourrier From 2015

Very good, youthful colour. Rich, ripe, complex, slightly spicy nose. Similar palate. Medium-full body. Good ripe tannins and very good grip. This is classy. Long, complex and quite profound at the end. Still needs time. Fine quality.

1999 Jadot From 2017

Full immature colour. Rich, fresh, backward nose. Lovely fruit. On the palate full body. Some tannin. A bit too chunky for its own good perhaps. There is a certain austerity and lots of grip. Will it ever soften satisfactorily?

1999 Rousseau From 2016

Fine colour, still youthful. Lovely nose. Splendid profound, ripe, complex fruit. Very good acidity. Full body. Rich and vigorous. Lovely finish. Excellent.

1998 Jadot See Note

Full, still youthful colour. Full and a little clumsy. But corked.

1998 Rousseau Now-2020 plus

Good fresh fullish colour. Ripe, fresh, fragrant, medium weight nose. Good class. Positive. Medium to medium-full body. Attractive, balanced, and full of charm. Now fully ready. Very fine for the vintage.

1997 Rousseau Now-2019

Full colour. Just about mature. Attractive rich, mellow, plump nose. Good richness in a soft creamy sort of way. Medium body. Balanced, fresh and classy and no weakness at the end. Very fine for the vintage.

1996 Jadot Now-2016

Full colour. Barely mature, it seems. Quite meaty, succulent fruit. On the palate a little rigid. Medium to medium-full body. Signs of astringency at the end. Classy though. But no more than very good indeed. I expected better;

1996 Rousseau Now-2020

Medium-full mature colour. More to it than the 1995 on the nose. Medium-full body. Good, balanced, elegant, complex fruit. This is long and classy and has much more fruit and interest than the 1995. It is also sweeter than the 1993 at the end. Fine plus.

1995 Rousseau Now-2018

Slightly more colour, but less maturity than the 1996. Composed plummy fruit and good energy and concentration on the nose. Medium-full body. Not as satisfactory on the palate than I had hoped from the nose. It has highish acidity and lacks a little generosity. Very good indeed at best.

1993 Jadot Now-2016

Amazingly full and purple for a 20 year old wine. On the palate rich and not tough or rigid. Indeed fat and spicy. On the palate a big wine. Meaty. Tannic. Yet good grip. A somewhat burnt spice flavour. Got rather astringent as it developed. Fine at first, but only Very Good after 10 minutes in the glass.

1993 Rousseau Now-2020

Full, mature colour. Still quite youthful. Ripe, aromatic, balanced, composed nose. Plenty of fruit. Really quite succulent as well as classy. Medium-full body. Good grip. Stylish and harmonious. Smooth but vigorous. Better than both 1995 and 1996. Very fine.

1990 Michel Esmonin Now-2020

Medium-full colour. Still youthful. Good fruit and good acidity on the nose. No sign of the stems. Medium-full weight. Fresh. Ripe. Plump. Attractive. Not great but very good indeed and still very vigorous.

1988 Rousseau Now-2020

Medium-full colour. Fully mature. Soft, ripe, stylish nose. Mellow and delicious. Fresh and elegant. Medium-full body. Intense, classy fruit. Balanced and long on the palae. Very fine.

1978 Drouhin Can still be kept

Medium to medium-full, fully mature colour. Very lovely fruit on the nose. Mellow, ripe and round and still very fresh. Medium-full body. A lovely mature, harmonious wine. Very good energy and depth and class. No sign of age.

1976 Remoissenet Drink soon

Surprisingly good, fullish, mature colour. Ample on the nose. Fullish and vigorous and showing no signs of astringency. Not the greatest class, but still holding up well. Very good rather than great.

1962 Clair-Däu Drink soon

Fully mature, medium-full colour. Interesting spice on the nose. Complex. No undue age. Just mellow and full of character. On the palate there is a little fade. But plump and classy. Smooth and balanced. Was a fine bottle in its prime.

1961 Clair-Däu Drink soon

Quite a big colour. Fresh, classy nose. Lots of depth. The wine is beginning to lose its fruit and getting astringent. Fullish body. Still reasonably fresh. Was fine too.