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  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables

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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

Rousseau is the largest owner of Chambertin, with 2.55ha of a total 12.9ha. The vines are in four parcels that lie on a gently sloping mid-slope at an elevation of 275m to 300m, protected from the colder upper slopes and avoiding richer soils lower down. The subsoil is Bajocian limestone, and the topsoil varies, with pebbles and clay distributed to varying degrees. The holdings are the result of purchases from 1921 onwards, the most recent in 2009. Average vine age is around 60 years, and the density an exceptionally high 12,000 vines/ha.

Yields rarely exceed 30hl/ha here, kept low by hard pruning and debudding rather than green-harvesting – and a ruthless selection is made in the vineyard. At the winery, grapes are mostly destemmed, chilled to 15 ̊C, and left to macerate without temperature control for up to three weeks. Extraction is achieved initially by frequent pumpovers and subsequently by punching down the cap. After pressing, the juice is run off into 100% new barrels. The 1993 would have spent between 20 and 24 months in barrel, though current practice at the domaine is to leave the wine in wood for only 18 months.


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Latest Pro-tasting notes

15 tasting notes

Tasting note









Written Notes

The 1993 Rousseau Chambertin was deep, dark, vitaminy, irony and rich. This wine was deep, deep inside. It was long and strong with a great flash of black and purple fruits. There was a fair amount of game as in ’got game,’ and everything was in the right spot. Its sweet core tickled my fancy, and it was so long in a beautifully brooding way, what a wine (98).

  • 98p

Sweet and scented on the nose. Very rich and sweet on the palate. Round and winning and, really, what more do you want? Reverberates and dances. Sweetness. Lively. Racy. Really good even if not desperately sweet and tarty. Still some neat tannins on the finish.

  • 95p

This is now displaying hints of bricking. A perfumed if distinctly cool nose displays somewhat reticent secondary black fruit and earth aromas that are nuanced by notes of spice, earth and a touch of the sauvage. The equally restrained, pure and powerful flavors are extremely rich, indeed the palate impression is borderline massive yet the driving and hugely long finish is impeccably well-balanced. This big-bodied and robust effort possesses a discreet mid-palate sweetness that largely buffers the subtle finishing austerity that is so typical of the '93 vintage. For my taste, this bad boy of a Chambertin has finally arrived at its peak though it should be capable of holding at this level for years, perhaps even decades, to come. The '93 Rousseau Chambertin isn't the best the domaine has ever made but it's one that I like enormously, perhaps because I have been fortunate to have had it so many times over the years that I have watched it grow up as it were. Multiple, and remarkably consistent, notes, in fact putting a few corked examples aside, I don't ever recall having a poor bottle.

  • 95p

Red plums, blackberries and espresso on the brilliant bouquet, it opens with notes of violets, black cherries, ripe plums, and vivid mineral notes. Silky, modest, almost blushing tannins here, tangy acidity, vibrantly sophisticated. There is lovely balance in this wine, exuberant and composed at the same time. You find a delightful pervading sweetness past the mid palate, then more red fruit and spices. There is evident freshness and energy as it builds to a multi-faceted, layered, nuanced, persistent, focused finale, with simply outstanding grip and length. This is an exquisite Chambertin, and a simply brilliant example of Rousseau’s mastery and the terroir’s genius. 97 Points+

  • 97p

Rousseau Chambertin 1993 / 97 points / Fresh, evolved, spicy, earthy nose. Very intense, lively and a bit smoky. The palate is ripe and sweet with dark cherry and plum fruit. Very open and showy with some rich spiciness. Well balanced. A big wine of real intensity, nice tannins and good acidity. Just a hint of rusticity.

  • 97p

Full, very vigorous colour. Lovely nose. Rich, full concentrated and classy. Full body. Lots of depth and real dimension. Very, very lovely. A great wine which is better than the 1990 and the 1995.

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Beaune, Burgundy

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential


Fake factory


Other wines from this producer

Chambertin Clos de Bèze


Clos de la Roche


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Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques

Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er cru

Mazy Chambertin

Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes


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