A bottle of Rousseau’s 1993 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze appears from out of nowhere. Tasted against the Chambertin, the Bèze has more power, intensity and freshness. I have always adored the 1993. This bottle is exceptional. (AG)
This remains one of the greatest wines of the '93 vintage with a simply dazzling breadth of aromas. The highly layered nose is perfumed and lovely yet at the same time powerful and penetrating as it introduces detailed, driving and still very fresh flavors that display astounding depth on the stunningly persistent finish. I very much like the way the flavors do a slow build from the mid-palate onto the harmonious finish and overall this is a complete wine with class and breed to burn. For my taste this has arrived at its peak though the balance is so fine that it should age effortlessly well for years to come. Reference standard Clos de Bèze. Multiple, and consistent, notes. I would further observe however that in all of the times that I have tasted the '93 Cham and Bèze side by side the Clos de Bèze has been the more interesting of the two. That said, in this most recent comparison the Chambertin was the better wine if only by a nose if you'll excuse the pun. Based on only one comparison I'm not prepared to aver that the Chambertin has surpassed the Clos de Bèze but it did in this one match up.
In most vintages I give a slight nod to the Chambertin over the Clos de Bèze in the Rousseau stable (strictly on stylistic preferences, as the wines are comparable in quality), but in some vintages one will seemingly succeed a bit more than the other. This is the case with the 1993 vintage, where the Clos de Bèze looks to be a half step of the fine Chambertin. On the nose the wine is redolent of pure black cherry fruit, dark chocolate, a bit of Gevrey meatiness, a strong vein of minerality, mustard seed and a correct framing of toasty oak. On the palate the wine is pure, complex and full-bodied, with a racy creaminess, a sappy core of black cherry fruit, and great length and breed on the tangy, moderately tannic finish. The Clos de Bèze is a touch fuller than the Chambertin in 1993, and delivers a stunning synthesis of sappy fruit, striking terroir, and a structural purity of acidity and ripe tannin in perfect harmony. Great young juice that is so beautifully balanced that it is eminently drinkable today, although further bottle age is unquestionably warranted. (Drink between 2007-2040)
This was the second bottle of 1993 Clos de Beze from Rousseau I tasted within a few weeks -- not that I’m complaining. This one was once again a gorgeous Pinot Noir at the peak of its powers. The bouquet soars from the glass with perfumed red and black fruit, perhaps a little more tertiary and animally on this occasion, but no less captivating. The palate is vibrant with formidable structure and then there is that daring, animal finish that fans out like there is no tomorrow. It does not quite possess the breeding of the Chambertin Grand Cru, but in some ways it is more 'fun' to just imbibe. I can see this lasting another decade without breaking a sweat. Tasted August 2013. (NM)
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