x
  • Country ranking ?

    1 750
  • Producer ranking ?

    63
  • 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

The 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
Fax +33 3 8058 5025

contact@domaine-rousseau.com
www.domaine-rousseau.com

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Vintage 1996

When a vintage like 1996 passes and 13 moon chages take place in the year many growers expect difficult moments to come.

Eventhoug the spring was marvellous and the very arly springbut was not affected by any frost.and due to the high tepertures the flowering rarely ever seen before (only one generation !)
The arrival of the summer ...warm and dry in June, cooler but still dry in July and August. A perfect weather with short periods of rainfall each time followed by intense suneshine untill the harvest helped the grapes to finish maturation (Wonderfull natural degrees from 12° to 13°9).

The weather during the harvest was relatively cold, cloudy but dry allowing the growers to harvest each parcel at the best moment of maturity.
The cold nights stabalised the level of acidity in the grapes and most important protected the grapes from rot.

Our first impressions on the Red wines are very promessing with deep colours and good and intense aromas

For the White wines we detect the sugar/acidity balance of a “ Great ” vintage. Despite of the relatively high yields the wines show power and complexity remembering of the 1990 vintage (equal yields).

One very distinctif sign of a very promessing vintage is the smile in the faces of the growers.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

11 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Light, Ruby red and Bright

ending

Long, Extensive and Pure

flavors

Cherry, Mineral and Floral

nose

Generous, Pure, Fresh and Youthful

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Low tannin, Balanced, Concentrated, Well-Integrated, Developing, Medium-bodied, Vigor and Silky tannins

Verdict

Sophisticated and Outstanding

Written Notes

Fine and fresh. Not luscious. Still lots of 1996 almost green acidity. Not a wine to wallow in but very fragrant.

  • 91p

In its youth this possessed one of the most amazingly complex panoply of aromas that one could imagine and it's still remarkably youthful and even today there is only a trace of secondary character on the ripe and ultra-fresh nose of various red berries, earth, bitter chocolate and anise hints. There is superbly intensity to the full-bodied and keenly focused flavors that, like the '96 Bèze (see herein) are not especially dense but do lead to a beautifully textured finish that simply goes on and on and with no hint of dryness. Note that while this could certainly be enjoyed now at almost 20 years of age, I will continue to hold my small remaining stash for another 7 to 10 years first. While not among the best examples of Chambertin the domaine has ever made, it is among the great wines of the '96 vintage. Tasted multiple times with consistent notes and twice in 2016.

  • 94p

The nose is a riot of blackberries, violets, smoke and oriental spices. It opens seductively, enlivened with tangy acidity, strawberries, cherries and plums. Smoky, floral notes uplift the fruit at the mid palate, and the depth, fullness and polish of the wine assert themselves. You get some anise next, the tannins are nicely cosseting, and it composes itself so brilliantly for a lush, lavish, spice coated, palate entrancing finish -- focused, intense, layered, ebullient and almost endless. This is a thrilling Chambertin, and possibly my very favorite ’96 Burgundy. 97 Points

  • 97p

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. Very fine.

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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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