Gevrey Chambertin, Burgundy
Domaine Armand Rousseau
"Rousseau" is one of the most esteemed names in Burgundy, certainly a name synonymous with the finest Chambertin produced in the Côte d`Or.
Armand Rousseau came from a family of vignerons and coopers. Before the First World War he acted as a wine-broker between the landowners and negociants. As was the norm, he initially sold his entire crop to negociants, but he managed to build up an impressive portfolio of holdings, with acquisitions in Charmes-Chambertin in 1919 and Clos-de-la-Roche and Chambertin in 1920.
The portfolio of vineyards was augmented with rows of vines in Mazy-Chambertin in 1937, Mazoyeres-Chambertin in 1940, further plots in Chambertin in 1943 and 1956 and the esteemed Gevrey Premier Cru Clos Saint Jacques in 1954 from Comte de Moucheron. This last plot, which some regard as Rousseau's finest wine along with Chambertin, was acquired in his son Charles’ name, who having graduated from Dijon University, joined his father after the Second World War ended. Presently Domaine Rousseau own 13ha 70 are of vine, split between 8ha 01 of Grand Crus, 3ha 47 of Premier Cru and 2ha 21 of Village Cru, all located within Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey-Saint-Denis. Their holdings consist of: Chambertin (2.15ha), Clos de Bèze (1.42ha), Ruchottes-Chambertin (Clos des Ruchottes Monopole) (1.06ha), Clos-de-la-Roche (1.48ha), Charmes-Chambertin (1.37ha), Mazy-Chambertin (0.37ha), Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques (2.22ha), a Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru sourced from two lieux-dits: Les Cazetiers and Lavaux-Saint-Jacques and finally Gevrey-Chambertin Village (2.21ha.)
There is no white Chardonnay produced by the domaine: the vineyards are devoted to Pinot Noir with an average vine age of 40 to 45 years, planted at a density of 10,000 vines per hectare.
There is great emphasis on low yields, limited to between 30 and 35hl/ha through the use of debudding and green harvesting during the growing season, to enhance berry concentration and phenolic ripeness. Rousseau's philosophy of low yields is to maintain a healthy crop of old vines accompanied by a severe pruning, rather than reducing yields through saignée. Harvest is conducted by hand with sorting in the vineyard to filter out unsatisfactory grapes before they enter the vat.
Vinification is traditional, with 90% of the crop destemmed prior to the 15-day fermentation in stainless-steel tanks, maintained at around 31° to 32°. After a gentle pressing and a 24-hour settling, the wine is transferred into oak barrels where the malolactic fermentation takes place.
All wines from Rousseau are amazing. It is not so much their power or intensity, but their class, their breeding and purity. There is a natural quality to them, an unerring balance and poise, a texture so silky smooth that you could slide down it.
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint Jacques 1er Cru
Clos de la Roche
Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Wines Domaine Armand Rousseau
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