x
  • Country ranking ?

    2 490
  • Producer ranking ?

    84
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

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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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Wine Information

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.


Soil: lime-clay
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.



Domaine Armand Rousseau
1 Rue de l’Aumonerie
21220 Gevrey Chambertin
France
Tel. +33 3 8034 3055

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium

ending

Medium

nose

Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

Elegant

Written Notes

Last bottle of a case bought from Farr Vintners in 1993. Convincingly branded cork came out smoothly except for a few tiny fragments.
Christmas Day: Pale rust colour. Nose light at first but grew over the two or three hours since pulling the cork. Mushrooms and violets. Far from emphatic or big, and probably on the way down but it really grew with time to offer charming sweetness and a real build on the finish. Not a hint of Rhône or north Africa! Burgundian purity with a seriously impressive spread of tertiary fruit on the end. Tamarind? Really clean and pure. A beautiful accompaniment to our half-turkey and cranberry jelly for two on the strange Christmas Day of 2020. So long!
Boxing Day: The 20 cl or so left in the bottle are quite brown now and there is masses of fine sediment. There's an increase in both perfume and acidity: a difficult trade-off. It's still beautifully aromatic but is, not surprisingly, losing fruit. Delicate rather than majestic.

  • 95p

"There are now distinct sous-bois notes on the ripe yet still elegant nose that remains pure and wonderfully complex. The medium weight flavors are sweet and quite intricate displaying grand cru richness and stupendous length. In sum, this is a delicious effort that has fully resolved the underlying tannins though it should continue to drink well for another 20 years … A most impressive effort for the vintage. Consistent, and multiple, notes."

  • 94p

Rousseau have a 2.5 hectare holding in this 12.5 hectare vineyard. This bottle is a little too evolved. Firm, spicy, earthy nose is quite savoury. The palate has rich structure and spicy, earthy notes. Evolved and perhaps lacking a bit of fruit, but there’s some complexity and minerality here, as well as some phenolic notes. 92/100

  • 92p

Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1989 / Fullish colour. Some developement. Still quite closed on the nose. Firm, full body, very good tannins, but these are not quite resolved at present. Lots of depth, dimension and energy. Love it - perfect age for Chambertin.95 points

  • 95p
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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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