Clos Saint-Jacques is a premier cru appellation in Gevrey Chambertin that is a grand cru in all but name. There are only five producers who own land here and Dominique Laurent sources the grapes as négociant. Some such as Wine Searcher report Dominique Laurent as being heavy handed with new oak and ripe fruit, while others such as Bibendum appear to disagree. 2003 is a hot drought vintage and a difficult year for Burgundy in general and pinot noir in particular.
So how does the wine measure up? It opens to an aroma of sweet red fruits and tertiary autumnal leaves. There are suggestions of raisins – true to vintage conditions – but they do not dominate. The palate is fully mature with tertiary leafy characters and the fruit impression is sweet. With time in the glass, the wine offers glimpses of its outstanding Clos Saint-Jacques terroir – some blackcurrant at the back of the palate and medium tannins unfurl with air and are pleasingly grippy. But while they are transformative when present, they remain more glimpses than a reference point. The length on the finish improves with time in the glass and trends between medium and long. The oak is fully integrated in my view and there is no drying out evident. Perhaps here we are aided by the ripe vintage. The overall impression is of a tertiary Clos Saint Jacques that ascends to being quite good, but not beyond. While ready to drink now, the developed tertiary characters and declining intensity point to wine that is perhaps 3 to 4 years beyond its best drinking window. Rating: Good to Very Good. Website: Producer N/A; Vivino; Wine Searcher. Reviewed: October 2021.