Wine Thieves-‘Cros Parantoux’ – One of the world’s great vineyards.

This small premier cru, which sits just above Richebourg in the Cote d’Or town of Vosne-Romanée, measures only 1.01 hectares (2.5 acres) in size. Cros Parantoux is on almost everyone’s short list of premier crus that merit elevation to grand cru status. It is a relatively cool site with very shallow and rocky limestone-rich soil that produces exceptionally long-lived wines. Made famous by the legendary Henri Jayer, today, there remain only two owners of this great vineyard: Meo-Camuzet and Emmanuel Rouget.

Henri Jayer acquired his first parcel of vines in Cros Parantoux from a M. Roblot and had to use 400 charges of dynamite to clear rocks and to soften up the soil enough to plant vines. It wasn’t until 1976 that Jayer bottled the entire harvest himself. Jayer had two children, both girls, and neither was interested in following in his footsteps, so in 1986, he took on his nephew by marriage, Emmanuel Rouget, to help him. Jayer slowly gave up more and more of his vineyards to Rouget but remained involved in all aspects of the vineyard and vinification work for, both, his own and his nephew’s account. Jayer continued this practice until 1995 when he officially retired.

Today, his nephew Emmanuel Rouget now exploits his late uncle’s vines himself. Henri Jayer’s style and Cros Parantoux’s terrior are more present in Rouget’s wines than ever before. This is a wine of grand cru standard: full, powerful, rich, and concentrated when young, velvety, mellow and exotic when mature.

Emmanuel Rouget 2002 Vosne-Romanée ‘Cros Parantoux’ | $900

“The nose is classy, wonderfully elegant and utterly pure, revealing concentrated aromas of red and black pinot fruit aromas plus layers upon layers of spices, including sandalwood, anise, soy, hoisin and a strong note of minerality. The linear, almost severe flavors are concentrated as well with finer tannins than usual and decidedly higher acidity than the Echézeaux and the precision is almost painful. This is not a powerful wine, and certainly less powerful than the Ech but it’s a good deal more elegant and this too possesses impeccable balance that should permit it to age for 2 decades, perhaps longer. There is a touch of wood on the backend that still has to harmonize but I don’t see how it won’t with this caliber of raw material.â€? 94 points Allen Meadows, Burghound


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