I have always ascribed to the theory that Clos St. Jacques can deliver grand cru quality complexity, but does not quite have the same mid-palate volume as the top grand crus in the village. This was quite apparent in our 1996 tastings, as almost everything served before or after this wine was a grand cru and the differences were self-evident. That said, this is a very, very pretty and stylish wine, wafting from the glass in a classy aromatic constellation of black cherries, red plums, mustard seed, a complex base of soil, gamebirds, cedar and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and nicely transparent, with a good core, modest tannins and a long, complex and tangy finish. A lovely middleweight.
This dark-colored wine is produced from vines that were planted in 1920 and 1921. Profound aromas of red cherries, blackberries covered in chocolate, morel and porcini mushrooms, road tar, and toasty oak lead to an awesome explosion of densely packed fruit on the palate. Layers of juicy and plump cherries, minerals, stones, and fresh herbs are intertwined with vanilla-imbued oak in this expressive and feminine beauty. It possesses extraordinary depth, concentration, and structure. This full-bodied, velvety-textured, refined, and focused wine also possesses an extremely long and delineated finish. (PR)
The 1996 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.-Jacques 1er Cru is a vintage that I have tasted twice before. This bottle is perfectly correct, although it curtails my previous enthusiasm. It still possesses a drop-dead gorgeous bouquet with exquisite delineation and similar aromatics as before: dark cherries, sous-bois and bay leaf, quite gutsy in style. The palate, like many 1996s, is structured with moderate depth. (NM)
Good red-ruby. Altogether more vibrant, sexy nose combines cherry, plum, smoke, coffee, game and Cuban tobacco. Fleshy, round and elegant; a distinct step up in extract and volume. Really compelling sweetness of fruit. Very suave and very long on the finish, which features extremely fine tannins. A superb showing today. (ST)
There is grand cru breed and elegance to burn in a medium bodied, finely detailed package with good richness and compelling complexity to the reasonably concentrated and very long flavors. As one would expect from a '96, there is enough acidity to notice yet in this case it appears reasonably well-integrated and gives real lift to the persistent finish. In short, this is a fine if not truly outstanding Rousseau Clos St. Jacques that has arrived at full maturity though it should hold there for many years. Mostly consistent notes.
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