(2009 Vintage) The materials for Clos Rougeard's basic 2009 Saumur-Champigny - from parcels on relatively clay-rich soil - were gassy from recent completion of malo but a wonderful combination of fresh, tart-edged blackberry and elderberry; tobacco-, peat- and black tea-like smokiness; along with chalk and iodine made for an intensely aromatic, palate-staining show that finished with vibrant interaction of meats, juicy berries, and minerals. This combines verve and brightness with seamless richness and is apt to make for a wine that will demand at least a couple of years in bottle and be worth following for 6-8. The portion in new Loire barrels incidentally - and employing any new wood on this cuvee represents an experiment prompted by the vintage - was nearly black, sweetly ripe, but very firm in feel, and while seemingly full of pent-up energy, was surprisingly no more evolved than the wine from older barriques.
Wine & Spirits(2004 Vintage) Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Wine & Spirits Magazine on 04/09. Tannic and tightly closed, this takes its time to open up and reveal itself, but it's worth the wait, showing a fresh, vibrant depth of peppery black cherry fruit complemented by a silky texture and undertones of leather and spice. Decant it now to drink alongside a suitably carnivorous repast, or give it a few years to settle down and gain further complexity.