DOMAINE EMMANUEL ROUGET
The Continuance of Legacy
Emmanuel Rouget, a tractor engineer by training, was given a job in 1976 by his uncle, Henri Jayer. Jayer instilled an unbridled enthusiasm and knowledge of winemaking in his young nephew. In 1985, Rouget set out on his own and created his Domaine out of cellars in Flagey.
During the inception of the Domaine, Rouget took on vines from his uncle, Henri Jayer’s brother, Lucien Jayer, in Echézeaux and Vosne-Romanée on a sharecropping basis. This meant that Rouget worked the vines and vinified the wine, then gave half the wine to Uncle Lucien Jayer while keeping the other half for himself. By 1996 Emmanuel was producing wines from the vineyards of three of his uncles – Henri, Lucien and Georges.
Rouget has remained faithful to the techniques employed by Henri Jayer – namely an insistence on ultra-low yields, a pre-fermentation cold maceration and maturation of the majority of the wines in 100% new oak barrels.
The vines are still farmed with respect for nature – no pesticides or herbicides with organic treatments being used almost exclusively.
The grapes are sorted both in the vineyard and again in the cuvérie, before being destemmed and fermented after a cool pre-maceration, just as Jayer did. The wines are fermented in concrete vats before ageing in barrel. The ageing is often a full 20 months or more before bottling.
The wine is matured in barrels from Francois Frères and Taransaud. One-year-old barrels are used for Bourgogne Rouge, 50% new oak for the Vosne-Romanée Village but 100% for Savigny-lès-Beaune, Nuits-St-Georges and the crus.
The wines continue broadly in the same spirit as those of Henri Jayer and can be breathtakingly good. They are luscious, red-fruited wines with a perceptible oak aspect, built for the long-haul and rewarding long-term ageing.