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One of the greatest names in all of Burgundy, dating back to the 1930s when Armand was one of the first of five domaines to defy the negociants and bottle their own wine. The Rousseau name is synonymous with Gevrey-Chambertin; Armand passed the reins to Charles who on retirement passed control to his son Eric.
Here too there is just enough oak to mention but once again it's not really enough to impair the purity of the distinctly cool and ultra-spicy red currant, underbrush, sandalwood, lilac and plenty of earth aromas. The rich, intense and overtly muscular big-bodied flavors possess a similar level of minerality that is borderline pungent and it informs the explosively long, firm and very serious finish. This notably powerful, but not really austere effort, displays magnificent potential and if it develops its usual degree of complexity over time it should merit the upper end of my projected range. But as structured and firm as it is, I suspect that this will drink well after only 6 to 8 years of age thanks to the incredible abundance of dry extract. Tasted: Jan 2018; Drink: 2037+; Issue: 69; Rating 98 Points; Allen Meadows; Burghound
The 2015 Chambertin Grand Cru took a while to open in the glass, as it is prone towards. It has a very elegant bouquet once again, the fruit an equal mixture of red and black, a touch of cold flint in the background accompanied by blood orange and satsuma that emerge with time. The palate is blessed with beguiling symmetry and power, counterpoised by the killer line of acidity, leading to a mineral-rich finish that goes on forever. This is another outstanding Chambertin from Rousseau that wine lovers will doubtlessly be fighting over for years to come. And you know what? I wouldn't blame them. Tasted: Dec 2016; Drink: 2020-2060; Rating: 97-99 Points; Neal Martin; Robert Parker The Wine Advocate
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.
97-99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chambertin Grand Cru took a while to open in the glass, as it is prone towards. It has a very elegant bouquet once again, the fruit an equal mixture of red and black, a touch of cold flint in the background accompanied by blood orange and satsuma that emerge with time. The palate is blessed with beguiling symmetry and power, counterpoised by the killer line of acidity, leading to a mineral-rich finish that goes on forever. This is another outstanding Chambertin from Rousseau that wine lovers will doubtlessly be fighting over for years to come. And you know what? I wouldn't blame them.(NM)
97-99 points Vinous
(12.8% natural alcohol chaptalized to 13.2%; Rousseau presented this wine before his Clos de Bèze because he finds the latter wine much more oaky in the early going): Dark, bright red with ruby highlights. Crushed black cherry, raspberry and spice aromas are lifted by a pungent floral topnote--"very ripe for this wine," notes Rousseau. At once utterly young and almost exotic, conveying extraordinary intensity and layered texture to its slightly high-toned flavors of raspberry, cherry, pomegranate, licorice and spices. An element of menthol reserve contributes to the wine's impression of brooding energy. Finishes with noble, seamless tannins and slowly mounting, explosive palate-staining length. Almost painful and almost perfect.(ST)
98 points Allen Meadows - Burghound
(100% new wood). Here too there is just enough oak to mention but once again it’s not really enough to impair the purity of the distinctly cool and ultra-spicy red currant, underbrush, sandalwood, lilac and plenty of earth aromas. The rich, intense and overtly muscular big-bodied flavors possess a similar level of minerality that is borderline pungent and it informs the explosively long, firm and very serious finish. This notably powerful, but not really austere effort, displays magnificent potential and if it develops its usual degree of complexity over time it should merit the upper end of my projected range. But as structured and firm as it is, I suspect that this will drink well after only 6 to 8 years of age thanks to the incredible abundance of dry
The 2015 Harvest by Clive Coates MW
The bad news is Chablis. In the early hours of Tuesday 1st September a severe storm hit the Chablis area. From Irancy up to the grands crus of Blanchots and Les Clos a swathe of hail – some hailstones as large as golf balls – has affected some 100 hectares of the vineyard. In all 97 mm of rain fell in six hours. The weather then cleared, threatening rot, and most growers rushed out to harvest before it was too late. Thankfully most of the grands crus have reverted to picking by hand, so a preliminary triage could be accomplished before the fruit arrived at the winery.
Elsewhere Burgundy has been spared. It did not rain. A token amount of Chardonnay harvesting began in the week of August 31th, and by the following Monday the harvest was fully under way. The weather then cooled, not only conserving the acidities, but making life more pleasant for the pickers. I can attest from my experience with the 1964 crop over forty years ago that it is not much fun picking grapes in unrelenting heat. The first week – that is the week of September 7th – the weather was fine. Later in September the weather cooled a little. It stayed dry until the weekend of 12th September, when the first serious rain for two months or more fell in the Côte d'Or and further south. For two or three days during that week the picking was interrupted. By Saturday 19th September the harvest was all but over except for a few vineyards in the Hautes Côtes.
All the way from the Côte d'Or down to the Mâconnais the fruit was in splendid condition. Michel Lafarge reported that he has rarely seen such magnificent grapes, and his comments have been echoed by others. Aromas in the cellars are intoxicating. A further bonus is that after several years of short crops the 2015 harvest is reasonably abundant. For this much thanks.
Prices, however seem destined to be high; perhaps the highest in real terms that they have ever been. The Hospices auction will give us an indication of this. But when we read that Henri Jayer's Vosne-Romanée, Cros Parentoux, 1996 now fetches £90000 a case one can hardly expect comparable wines of the 2015 vintage to sell for peanuts.
September 1st 2015
The splendid weather in July has been followed by an August, which, if not quite so continuously hot and sunny, has been for the most part equally good, particularly towards the end of the month.
And it has continued dry. There have been, thankfully, no storms, no hail, and no threat of rot. Indeed the vines are in magnificent condition. The advance weather forecast for September tells us that it will cool over the first ten or so days, but then warm up again. The harvest will start during the next week or so, and all indications are that it will be both plentiful and successful. Just what Burgundy needs. It's all smiles here!
August 1st 2015
The weather has been splendid for a the whole of the month of July: day after day of warm, sometimes very hot temperatures, and almost a complete absence of rain. While this has made the lawns look rather dispiritingly brown and parched, the vines, with their deep root systems, have suffered no drought stress, and those people with swimming pools have been able to indulge in their fortune. For once, while there have been a couple of thunderstorms, the vineyards have escaped any hail damage.
The vintage is due to commence around the week of September 7th. Keep your fingers crossed that the good weather continues. The long range weather forecast indicates that, though not as hot or as dry as July, the weather in August will be mainly sunny and warm.
July 1st 2015
The weather has been splendid for a month now, and the projections continue promising. Slowly but surely during the month the temperatures rose, and in this last week they have reached well above 30°. Meanwhile it has been dry but not excessively so. The vines have flowered successfully, indicating a plentiful crop, bar disasters. As I indicated a month ago, the harvest should commence around September 10th.
June 1st 2015
It was an uneventful winter. When it was cold – and it was never very cold – it was dry. When it rained the temperatures were mild. So there was no problem with icy roads. April was warmer and drier than usual, as it often has been recently, and this encouraged a bud-break a little earlier than usual. But May, apart from a couple of days in the middle of the month when it reached 32°, was characterised by sunny mornings, clouding over by lunchtime, and temperatures which struggled to exceed 20°. But it has been dry. The vines began to flower around the 25th. So we can expect the harvest to commence around the 10th September.