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  • Country ranking ?

    1 512
  • Producer ranking ?

    40
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    Now

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The Story

Chambertin – Domaine Armand Rousseau

Chambertin gained a reputation from the patronage of Napoleon I, who is rumoured not to have drunk anything else and watered down his Chambertin with plenty of water. He favoured it at five to six years old and never drank more than half a bottle with a meal. When the ex-Emperor was exiled on St. Helena, he was forced to drink claret, since that was easier to ship to the isolated island.

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.

 

Domaine Armand Rousseau is the largest landowner of the Chambertin vineyard with a total of 5.3 acres. The 32 acres of Chambertin Grand Cru represent some of the finest and most storied Pinot Noir acreage on the planet and with all producers included typically produces less than 60,000 bottles. Chambertin is the beating heart of the red Grand Crus of the Côte d’Or sitting high on the hillside and bordered by Latricières-Chambertin to the south and Clos-de-Bèze to the north.

Vinification: Grapes are meticulously sorted as they arrive in the winery. Following a cool maceration the must travels by gravity into barrel where it will stay for the entire vinification process lasting typically 18-24 months. Each Armand Rousseau wine is blended unfiltered.

Burgundy writer Clive Coates refers to this Grand Cru as perhaps the finest red wine in the world. Always a tour de force, this wine has uncanny balance. It is very structured, dense, and powerful, it has firm, ripe tannins, yet it is not heavy. It has uncommonly long length on the palate.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The next bottle was an equally rare, old Burgundy, a 1952 Rousseau Chambertin. This is the third time I had a bottle of this batch thanks to the Chalet Collection, the second of which we had with Cyrielle Rousseau in Burgundy on one rainy afternoon. The first bottle, however, was the most memorable: epic, legendary, insert your own superlative here. This bottle was still outstanding, but it did not achieve the heights of that first time. It’s all about the bottle for those old Burgundies, all about the bottle. There was similar sweetness to the LT, but the Rousseau was more autumnal. It was smooth and nice with good brown sugar and earth flavors. ‘Tasty’ came from the crowd, and I concurred (95).

  • 95p

“The fabulously complex and classy nose explodes from the glass carrying warm, expressive and generous high- toned aromas of spice, earth, game, tea, leather and smoke - it is genuinely kaleidoscopic in its breadth! The powerful and full-bodied flavors are sappy, still vibrant and muscular with superb concentration and the finish- ing richness and punch are seriously impressive. In sum, this is a monumental wine from nose to tail as it were and the vibrancy and lift suggests that it will continue to hold for another 20 years. In a word, awesome.”(95pts BH)

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Information

Origin

Beaune, Burgundy

Other wines from this producer

Chambertin Clos de Bèze

Charmes-Chambertin

Clos de la Roche

Gevrey-Chambertin

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques

Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er cru

Mazy Chambertin

Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes

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