Visiting a legend: This is quite a claim, but a fitting one for a tasting at Domaine Emmanuel Rouget in Flagey-Echezeaux.
I arrived on Brompton (very convenient and speedy), and found the discreet Emmanuel Rouget estate in the village – he who lives hidden lives well.
By the way, some visits are difficult to come by, so any help at all from agents and importers is always welcome.
Emmanuel Rouget – a legend
It has always been difficult to visit – or buy – the wines of Emmanuel Rouget. Not that Emmanuel himself has stoked the demand or hype; the high quality of the wines and their stylistic invariability has done the job.
Add into that the domaine’s Henri Jayer legacy, and the result is a cocktail of magnificent pinots.
The actual place
The Rouget estate is genuinely that: an estate. It’s not flashy – no Ferraris or Porches visible – and son Guillaume arrives on his tractor to complete the tasting after an introductory talk by Emmanuel himself.
After the talk, we descend to the cellar with Guillaume to taste the 2019s, which are still in barrel. It’s a relatively small, normal cellar, with no gold on the door frame.
Guillaume is quite relaxed and conducts the tasting in French – at a pretty good clip – offering the chance to taste different barrels of some of the wines to gauge the cooperage effect.
All is good, and for me, this was a great experience.
The tasting notes
Emmanuel Rouget’s Bourgogne Rouge 2019 is vivid, with the classical liveliness of the vintage. Rouget doesn’t try to extract or oak these entry-level wines too much, rather he maintains an easy drinkability and, dare I say it, a vin de soif character. And yes, you can call it a vin de soif, even with Emmanuel Rouget on the label.
(Drink from 2022) – Very Good – (87-88p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
The Emmanuel Rouget Cote de Nuits-Villages 2019, from Comblanchien, is a mineral step up from the Bourgogne. It is a more serious wine, although one I could live with as my house red. It has the deep, destemmed Rouget fruit, but with lively notes from 2019 – hints of cloudberries tease your palate with tartness and sweetness simultaneously. This has magnificent fruit, and brings to mind the liveliness of the 2002s!
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
Chorey-les-Beaune is a new area of focus for the Winehog, as many producers are making revived, revamped, high-quality wines from this area. The Rouget Chorey-les-Beaune 2019 is a fine and lively wine; delicate (tasted from a Cavin barrel), but nevertheless a hedonistic glass, and certainly a vin de soif.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
Emmanuel Rouget’s Savigny-les-Beaune 2019 is forward, delicate, and quite light-footed, and in contrast with many other Savignys, really provides a lot of pleasure. It’s vivid, with the lovely energetic 2019 fruit dominating the picture.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (88-89p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
The Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-Saint-Georges 2019 is produced from the plot Aux Lavieres, just on the border with Vosne-Romanée. It has a bit of NSG iron, but is otherwise quite cool, with nice phenolic ripeness. It’s elegant, with peony and rose jumping from the glass. This is a wine that will please the Nuitons.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (89p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanée 2019 is from the plots Vignieux and Barrox. Several different barrel-makers are used; Taransaud is on the spicy side, while Cavin is sweeter and more seductive. They will all come around – some sooner rather than later – but the Cavin barrel reveals gorgeous, lively fruit, stuffed with wild raspberries. This will be a lovely wine.
(Drink from 2032) – Fine – (92p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
Rouget’s Vosne-Romanée Les Beaumonts 2019 is a hedonistic treat and, like other Beaumonts, really shines in this vintage. With gorgeous, lively fruit, it is light-footed, refined and deep. Tasted from a Cavin cask, giving a sweeter, more generous taste, but it’s definitely one of the most precise wines in the line-up. Magnificent, with raspberries and cloudberries caressing your palate
(Drink from 2032) – Very Fine + – (94p) – Tasted 10/06/2021 –
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