While Henri Jayer "officially" retired after the 1995 vintage, at which time Emmanuel took over full control of most of his own wine, Jayer himself was allowed to continue making a small quantity for himself under his own label according to the "post retirement" rules in France. In 1997, however, Emmanuel fell gravely ill during harvest and Henri stepped back in the game to make both his own little stash of wine, as well as Emmanuels bottlings. Of all the Rouget wines I've had (and I've had quite a few), this ranks right up there as one of the best (along with the '90 Cros Parantoux)...and I don't think it's a surprise in this vintage!
Notes of black rasberry, amazingly pure, volumptuous, ripe Pinot fruit, light sous bois, sweet plum, and Vosne Spice. Both light and full of weight all at the same time. Great mouthfeel, and a long finish. Seductive aromatics. This continually improved over the course of the night. Not quite monumental (could have used a bit more complexity), but a superb example of great raw material, great vineyard site, and a great captain at the helm! If it had been a "great vintage" I'm sure this would have been monumental. And, maybe what was achieved in this "off" year indirectly makes it just that...94...almost 95 pts.