The Rousseau Domaine was started at the beginning of the 20th century by Armand Rousseau who, at his majority, inherited several plots of vineyards in Gevrey Chambertin. The Domaine premises with the living house, the storing places, the cellars and the winery, are situated in the oldest part of the village, near the 13th century church.
From 1959, after Armand Rousseau's death, Charles Rousseau was at the head of a Domaine of 6 ha which he continued developing rapidly thanks to his great knowledge in oenology, and his experience, by acquiring new vineyards, especially in "Grands Crus" areas. He decided to turn principally towards export, and, after the USA where his father had already starting to sell his wines right after prohibition at the end of the 30's, he developed the exchanges first with Great-Britain, Germany, Switzerland, soon afterwards to all European countries, then to Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Brazil, etc. and lastly Asia in the 1970’s.
His son Eric joined him at the beginning of the 1980's to take care more especially of the vineyards and the vinification. In 1993, Corinne, Charles's elder daughter, after many years of professional experience in export abroad and in France, came back to the Domaine and in her turn took in charge the commercial relationship with customers.
The beginning of the autumn in 2005 was relatively mild but from November, the temperatures dropped quickly until becoming negative. The winter settled until 18th. March, accompanied by frequent and sometimes important snowfalls from mid-November to the end of February. The winter rainfalls were consequent and made up for the hydrous deficit of the ground water.
The vegetation started to grow from 20th. March because of an abrupt rise in the temperatures. Then, in spite of disturbed climatic conditions, the vine continued its development regularly until mid-June, when the rise of the temperatures developed a fast growth. Flowering started around 15th.-20th. June and the delay which the vine showed compared to 2005 was filled quickly.
The heat wave of July was accompanied on 27th. by an important storm, with hail, causing consequent damage in the vineyard of Chambertin Clos de Bèze and damaging in lesser way other vines in Gevrey. The quality of the grapes was very satisfactory not requiring no intervention. Ripening engaged at the beginning of August but the climatic conditions of all the month (disturbed with frequent precipitations) had as a consequence a slow but continuous development of the vegetation.
September, hot and very sunny, was good for maturation. We started grape-picking on 22nd September under beautiful sunshine which lasted all along. Important sorting of grapes was done in all appellations especially in Clos de Bèze ( these yields were small, about 15 hl/ha).Vinification took place without any problem with the same ‘cuvaison’ time as usual.
A pre-fermenting cooling of the grapes was done at 15°C for 4-5 days and then fermentation started naturally. Both juices were assembled and the concentration of sugar had a very good level, together with a nice acidity.
The bottling is programmed for april 2008. Malolactic fermentation was over in February and the first racking was done on July 2007.
As for its characteristics, the 2006 vintage can be qualified of pure, elegant and complex with a good concentration of little red fruits and flowers together with fine and velvety tannins.
Production area: 8 ha
Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Average vineyard age: 40-45 years
Harvest method: hand picked, sorting in the vineyards
Winemaking: in open stainless steel vats, with 75% partial destemming, a 14-15 days fermentation and strict control of temperatures with a maximum of 30-31°C. No yeast is added. "Remontage" - pumping over - and "pigeage" - pressing down - are done on a regular basis. Malolactic fermentation, which follows alcoholic fermentation, is performed in oak barrels in the cellar.
Ageing: in 100 % new oak barrels. Aging lasts 20 to 22 months in very cold and naturally humid cellars.