After Domaine de la Romanee Conti, there is probably a small handful of Burgundy producers that every collector wants in their cellar. Close to the top of this list has to be the wines of Domaine Armand Rousseau.
While connoisseurs can’t drink Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru too regularly, regardless of whether they can afford it or not, primarily due to scarcity, some of Rousseau’s other Grand Cru’s like their Clos de Beze, Clos de la Roche and Charmes-Chambertin are both slightly more affordable and more easily available in the broader market.
Specifically, the appellation Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru is made from grapes in Charmes-Chambertin and also Mazoyères-Chambertin. The word “Charmes” in Burgundy refers to the ancient cultivated fields in wasteland. In Burgundy, “Charmes” has the same meaning as “Chaumes “.
The word Mazoyères originates from the small shacks where the winegrowers stored their tools in the vineyards. Mazoyères rests on Comblanchien limestone with a shallow gravel layer that comes from the alluvial cone of the Combe Grisard. The higher level of the Charmes-Chambertin plot rests on entroqual limestone and the lower level on Comblanchien limestone, allowing for a more supple, giving wine with lots of finesse and elegance to be produced.
Armand Rousseau Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2015 (Barrel Sample Tasted January 2017)
The nose of this majestic wine is laden with red and black berry fruits, salty cassis, cherry, cranberry, rose petal fragrance and complex spicy raspberry herbal tea nuances. On the palate, there is beautifully soft, fleshy, vivacious opulence with all the hallmark Rousseau purity, sappy spice, limestone minerality and seamless textural precision. Charmes-Chambertin is often regarded as a slightly under performing Grand Cru vineyard, but in some years like 2015, the the celestial stars align, allowing this appellation to deliver sublime Pinot Noir grandeur. The 2015 really is an especially impressive effort with the sweetest of tannins, tantalising acids, and the purest of fruit. Getting your hands on some 2015 Armand Rousseau wines is undoubtedly going to be a challenge, but great rewards await if you are successful. (Wine Safari Score: 94-96/100 Greg Sherwood MW)