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Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Les Beaumonts (stained labels) 2001

Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Emmanuel Rouget

    Emmanuel Rouget

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    Emmanuel Rouget, Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Domaine Emmanuel Rouget began in 1985, which, by Burgundy’s standards, is quite recent; in that time, however, the winery has attained almost mythical status among collectors worldwide. Located in Falgey-Echezeaux, the domaine’s holdings lie predominantly in the appellation of Vosne-Romanee, Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru, and Echezeaux Grand Cru. There are holdings in Cotes de Nuits-Villages, Savignyles-Beaune, and Nuits-St-Georges as well.

    The history of Domaine Emmanuel Rouget is forever tied to the famous vigneron Henri Jayer, Emmanuel’s uncle. By the early 1980s, Henri had already become one of the most legendary winemakers in Burgundy, influencing a generation of young vignerons in Burgundy and around the world. Henri began to think about the future of his domaine and though he had two daughters, neither of them were interested in making wine. In 1985, he took on his nephew Emmanuel Rouget as his protege and began leasing some of his vines to him. Over the years, Jayer gave up more and more vines to his nephew. In 2001, following his retirement, all of the his vines went under the control of Emmanuel Rouget, including the Georges Jayer vines, which have been vinified in the cellar of Rouget since 2002. Since 2011, the control of the domaine has passed to Emmanuel’s two sons Nicolas and Guillaume. Nicolas keeps watch over the vineyards while Guillaume is principally in the winery.

    Without question, the story of the domaine cannot be told without mentioning its’ most famous vineyard, Cros Parantoux. The history of the Cros Parantoux vineyard begins with Henri Jayer. The vineyard itself, which sits just above the Grand Cru of Richebourg, had fallen into disrepair in the years between the first and second world war. By the 1940s, it was nothing more than forgotten brush land. Jayer acquired his first parcel of Cros Parantoux in 1951 and in the first few years, he had to use more than 400 charges of dynamite to soften up the soil so it could be planted. The first planting was done in 1953 and he aquired his last parcel in 1970 which brought his total holding to .72 hectares. Today, those same .72 hectares belong to Emmanuel Rouget with the remaining .28 hectarres of the vineyard belonging to Meo-Camuzet.

    Not much has changed here since Emmanuel first began making wines under the watchful eye of his uncle. The vines are still farmed with a respect for nature, that is to say no pesticides or herbicides at all, and organic treatments are used almost exclusively. The grapes are destemmed just as Jayer did, and the wines are fermented in concrete vats before ageing in barrel. Chez Rouget, the ageing is often a full 20 months or more before bottling.

    Vosne-Romanee

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    This is the village for the most die-hard Burgundy fanatics. Vosne-Romanée has for many hundreds of years been the source of the most sought-after Pinot noir in Burgundy. The village claims six Grands Crus—and some of the most famous at that—but in other villages where owners manage tiny parcels or a few rows of any one vineyard, monopolies dominate the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanee.

    Of these monopolies, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) reigns supreme, claiming not only more total vineyard area than any other producer, but outright owning the entirety of two of the Grands Crus and a majority of two others. In its full possession are naturally Romanée-Conti, as well as La Tâche. DRC also owns most of Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant. The final two, La Grande Rue and La Romanée are completely owned by other other produers: François Lamarche and Comte Liger Belair, respectively.

    While one could spend a lifetime on the puzzles of land ownership in Burgundy, the point is that Vosne-Romanee contains the most valuable pieces of vineyard real estate in the world. Pinot noir from any of its vineyards—especially from within its 27ha of Grand Cru or 58 ha of Premier Cru land—is going to rank among the best.

    The most outstanding wines from this village have everything: finesse and elegance coupled with the body and sturdiness for incredibly long aging ability. They are intensely floral and exotically spiced. Beautifully ripe, complex and ephemeral throughout, they are robust, yet fine-grained in texture. These wines will stay gorgeous for the long haul.

    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

    LSB209925_2001 Item# 209925