It's no secret that the Rousseau CSJ is the finest example of its appellation and in 1999, it may very well have exceeded even its own lofty accomplishments. The colour is remarkably black followed by a blast of intensely sappy Pinot fruit, long, rich, powerful and earthy flavours all held together by extraordinary balance. This is just flat out reference standard CSJ. Though it does not often achieve this, in 1999, the CSJ is as good as the Bèze. 92-93 points, Burghound (1/2001).
Saturated red-ruby. Pungent oak spices, black cherry, minerals and Gevrey earth on the nose. Dense, sweet and supple, with enough richness and texture to support the barrel treatment. Sappy and pure. Lovely spicy, extremely persistent fruit on the aftertaste. 90-93 points, International Wine Cellar (4/2001).
The dark ruby-coloured 1999 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.-Jacques has exuberant, sweet, blackberry fruit aromas. This medium to full-bodied wine has amplitude to its mouth-coating , black cherry, oak, and cassis liqueur flavors. It is velvety-textured, lively, and boisterous. Drink it over the next 10-11 years. 90-92 points, The Wine Advocate (8/2001).
Bright ruby. Pale rim. Already headily scented. Sweet and jewelly on the nose. Edge of candy and the merest hint of beetroot, but great density underneath. Very firm with lots of fresh acidity and quite firm tannin. Not ready yet but pretty magnificent and very confident. Still quite dry and embryonic on the finish though magnificently persistent and peacock's tail-like in its opening up on the end. It's all on the finish! Firm, confident and youthful. I would expect this to blossom into an even more impressive wine. All the substance is there. And it opened out quite impressively over time. 17.5+/20 points, jancisrobinson.com (7/2010).
“For fifteen years the Emperor [Napoleon] constantly drank the same wine [Gevrey-Chambertin] , which he liked and which we believed was good for him."
Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène by The Count of Las Cases
Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest wine-producing village in the entire Côte d’Or with the wines typically deeper in colour, with more tannin structure and firmer in body than most red Burgundy. Thanks to the iron-rich clay soils the very best can develop into the richest, biggest and long-lived Pinot Noir - this of course depends on whether the vineyard is located on the steeper slopes or the flatter, richer soils.
Gevrey boasts an impressive nine Grands Crus, with the name of Chambertin retaining a regal omnipresence throughout its finest vineyard names. Chambertin-Clos de Bèze which has the right to sell its wines simply as ‘Chambertin’, and is also the only wine allowed to put the ‘Chambertin’ before (rather than after its own), is considered one of the greats. Quality-wise the next best is generally acknowledged to be Mazis-Chambertin with incredibly concentrated and fine wines, but a little less firm than Le Chambertin. The tiny Griottes-Chambertin, which owes its name to the grill-pan shape of the vineyard rather than the wine’s griotte (sour) cherry aroma, is lower down the slope and boasts a velvety texture and rich fruit reminiscent of Chambertin itself. Gevrey’s largest Grand Cru, Charmes-Chambertin is pure and seductive.
The wines of Gevrey-Chambertin are deeply colored. They have intense aromas of currants and other small red and black fruits, animal notes of musk and fur, and often a touch of licorice after some bottle aging. They are powerful, with balanced tannins, a soft mouthfeel and good acidity. These are generally robust wines.