Acker Paulee Dinner (The Fourth, NYC): A pronounced nose of dark fruit, iron, bacon and some earth. This seemed much bigger and chunkier than the bottle I had last year. This example clearly needs much more time to round out and is more consistent with the 98s.
1998 Burgundy Grand Cru Dinner (Cheng Hu Tien, Keong Saik Road, Singapore): Wow. This was quite stunning. It still clearly needs time in the bottle, but man, this was a very, very impressive Chambertin. It had a killer nose, with beautiful, deep notes of red cherries and berries, little touches of earth, deep-set hints of sweet spice, and just the lightest kiss of oak. Wow. The palate still seemed so young, but it was clearly one of the most complete wines I have had in a long time. It had truly great depth and a muscular strength to its deep flavours red cherries and berries, yet this was elegant, effortless, almost graceful in the way it flowed through the mouth on a bed of velvety tannins and juicy acidity. Still monolithic, but seamless and perfectly harmonious, this just filled the mouth with layer after layer of red-fruited Gevrey goodness, just starting to show nice bassy, earthy notes on the midpalate. It is quite a testament to the quality of Rousseau’s wines that they managed to craft a wine of such class and finesse, with not a trace of brambly hardness, in a vintage like 1998. It had a great, long finish as well, with the last vestiges of juicy fruit flecked with little spicy accents. Beautiful stuff. This has come a long way from when I tried it 4 years back, but it needs time to open up yet – I would leave it aside for another 4-5 years at the very least, perhaps a couple years more to be safe – but it will be amazing when it hits it stride.
Ready to go out of the gate. Forward and pronounced nose of red fruit, dark fruit, iron and a hint of earth. Great depth on the palate but with a lightness that emphasized the classiness of the wine. This is wonderful to drink now but will hold if not improve. Long finish.
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