Producer Profile: Domaine Armand Rousseau – A legendary Estate

Producer Profile: Domaine Armand Rousseau – A legendary Estate

Domaine Armand Rousseau is a well revered Gevrey-Chambertin estate.  So much so that when it comes to Gevrey-Chambertin wines, Rousseau is the benchmark. In 2019, it took 1st place (surpassing Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy) in the Power 100 list compiled by fine wine exchange, Liv-ex and The Drinks Business. Its stellar reputation is due to a combination of history, vineyard location and the consistent quality of its wines.

Family owned, it has been run by the Rousseau family for the past 4 generations. The estate is now run by Eric Rousseau, grandson of founder Armand Rousseau and his daughter Cyrielle. The estate covers more than 15 hectares of vineyards, more than half of which are Grand Cru plots (produces 6 Grand Crus) and 3.8 hectares of Premier Crus in the two communes of Gevry-Chambertin and Morey-St-Denis. These parcels are considered some of the finest sites in the northern part of the Côte.

Farming old vines, and keeping yields low (green harvesting) the domaine style is one of power and finesse. It produces glorious wines that are full-bodied, concentrated and long-aging. Average production is 63,000 bottles per year spread over 11 different wines.

Farming is traditional (tractors & horses) and sustainable, grapes are picked by hand and 90% are destemmed.  Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks followerd by a gentle press before settling and putting into barrels (c. 20months). For the Premier Crus, the barrels are one and two years old. The Clos de la Roche see 20 to 30 percent new oak.

We have the following wines in stock, albeit at limited availability. Relative to other top burgundy producers, Rousseau does make a reasonable amount and thus we are able to get some allocation. If you are serious about Burgundy, then the below Premier Cru wines offer a rare opportunity to buy from one of the most famous and best domaines in Burgundy.

 

Gevrey Chambertin – one of the integral wine villages of the Côte du Nuits. A Pinot Noir only territory it has 9 Grand Cru vineyards and 26 Premier Cru sites. The two best Grand Cru sites of Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and Chambertin (fabled to be Emperor Napoleon’s favourite), are amongst the most highly sought after Pinot Noir wines in the world at the moment, especially from spectacular producers such as Armand Rousseau.

Wines

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Cazetiers” 2017 €300

93 points – “Cazetiers was picked early in 2017 as it tends to be quite a ripe site. According to Cyrielle Rousseau, this sometimes shows some reduction in its youth, but that’s not the case here. Rose petal and wild strawberry scents lead you into a palate that’s spicy, supple and sweetly oaked”.

Drinking Window 2022 – 2027 (Tim Atkin, Decanter.com)

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux St Jacques” 2017 €300

94 points – Lavaux often shines in warmer years like 2017, thanks to the cooling influence of the nearby combe. The Rousseau family have three parcels in all, totalling 0.8ha, and they seem to have a special affinity with the premier cru. It’s subtle, refreshing and ethereal, with crunchy acidity and minerality and sappy pomegranate and red cherry flavours.

Drinking Window 2024 – 2032 (Tim Atkin, Decanter.com)

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux St Jacques” 2018 €270

91-93 points – The 2018 1er Cru Lavaux Saint-Jacques offers up an attractive bouquet of red berries, cassis and plums mingled with nuances of candied peel, raw cocoa and grilled squab. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety, with a ripe core of fruit, melting tannins and succulent acids. (William Kelley, Robert Parker.com)

Domaine Armand Rousseau, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2018 €480

96 points – There are two parcels of Clos de la Roche chez Rousseau, one high and one low, making 1.48ha in total. At 20%, this has a little more oak than it usually does and is more marked by it at this stage in its development. But give it time for the succulent raspberry and red cherry fruit to emerge. The tannins are typically silky, while the acidity brings balance to the floral finish.

Drinking Window 2025 – 2034 (Tim Atkin, Decanter.com)

E&EO, these wines are in stock but with limited availability. For more information,  please email david@greenmanwines.ie or phone 01.5594235 / 0871347752

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