2006 Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy
David Schildknecht - 22/12/2009
Allen Meadows - burghound.com - Oct 2014
About this WINE
Domaine Armand Rousseau
Domaine Armand Rousseau is one of the most famous and best domaines in Burgundy. Based in Gevrey-Chambertin, the estate is formed of just over 15 hectares, over half of which is Grand Cru.
This is one of Burgundy’s greatest domaines – in terms of history, vineyard holdings and quality of wine. The original Armand Rousseau was at the forefront of the first wave of domaine bottling in the 1930s. He was succeeded by his son Charles in 1959, shortly after they had bought a significant slice of the Clos St Jacques vineyard. Today Eric, grandson of Armand, is in charge of the vines and cellar, with the help of his daughter Cyrielle.
The domaine produces pale, finely structured wines of great elegance and stamina. The simple principle of old (but not ancient) vines and sensible yields dictates the Rousseau style. Sometimes the wines can appear light in their youth, but they nearly always take on weight as they age.
The farming here is traditional, with green harvesting where necessary to control yields (which range between 30 and 40hl/ha). The vineyards are ploughed and the use of sprays minimal. In the winery, 90% of the fruit is de-stemmed – the 10% whole-bunch adding tannin and structure to the wines. Fermentation is in open-topped stainless steel vats, with regular pumping over and punch-downs, but temperatures kept below 31°C. The fruit is then pressed gently, settles and transferred to barrel where the wines gently mature.
While the wines are by far some of the most collectible, commanding high prices on the secondary market, the family makes great wines with the hope that they will be drunk, not traded – a hope that we share.
We are one of the distributors for Domaine Rousseau in the UK. We have limited stocks available that are not listed online. Please contact us at email@example.com or on 020 3301 2883 for more information.
Morey is sometimes ignored between its two famous neighbours, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, but its wines are of equal class, combining elegance and structure. Morey-St Denis, being that little bit less famous, can often provide excellent value.
The four main Grand Cru vineyards continue in a line from those of Gevrey-Chambertin, with Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche the most widely available. Clos des Lambrays (almost) and Clos de Tart (entirely) are monopolies of the domains which bear the same names.
Domaine Dujac and Domaine Ponsot also make rare white wines in Morey-St Denis.
- 64 hectares of village Morey-St Denis
- 33 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). Best vineyards include Les Charmes, Les Millandes, Clos de la Bussière, Les Monts Luisants
- 40 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard. Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de la Roche, Clos St Denis and a tiny part of Bonnes Mares
- Recommended Producers: Dujac, Ponsot, Clos de Tart, Domaine des Lambrays
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
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Nutmeg, coriander, and fresh sour cherry aromas on the nose of Rousseau's 2006 Clos de La Roche usher in a fascinating palate, pungently spicy, tartly-fruited, and backed by an alkaline, saline, very marine sense of mineral abundance. The smoky, stony, and bitter-sweet elements in common with so many wines of this collection here steer clear of austerity thanks to the wine's sheer primary juiciness and the invigorative potential of its distinctive minerality. If tasted blind, I might well have picked it as a rarified expression of Clos St.-Denis. I expect this will be worth savoring over the next 6-8 years, but given the relative delicacy of its frame, I would want to monitor its evolution in case it seems a shame not to enjoy it sooner.
David Schildknecht - 22/12/2009
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