Red, For laying down

2005 Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos St Jacques, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy

2005 Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos St Jacques, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy

Red | For laying down | Domaine Armand Rousseau | Code:  2079 | 2005 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Nuits > Gevrey Chambertin | Pinot Noir | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

The Wine Advocate

94-96/100

Burghound

94/100

Jancis

18+/20

Tanzer

93+/100

The Wine Advocate - With the 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.-Jacques (which by its position in tastings here the Rousseaus conspicuously rate as grand cru) we arrive at the first wine that is matured in new wood. Pure, sweet, fresh black cherry fruit, marrowy and enveloping carnal richness, mysteriously enticing florality, low-toned, chalky minerality and accents of black tea and star anise are featured in this remarkably seamless wine. Meat, minerals and mystery dominate a finish that is profoundly layered yet preserves sheer palate-cleansing refreshment and positively vibrates with vividly fresh fruit intensity. Rousseau owns around one third of this great site, meaning that there are over a thousand cases of this phenomenal wine to ransack the marketplace in search of, then sock away for at least a decade and preferably two. It is always the last-harvested site, says Eric Rousseau, and in 2005 his roughly twenty veteran pickers could certainly afford to wait and richly rewarded us for it.
David Schildknecht - 30/04/2007

Burghound - A subtle trace of wood frames the bright red pinot fruit and naturally spicy nose that is extremely fresh and this sense of vibrancy and freshness suffuses the rich, round and even more powerful lithe and tautly shaped flavors replete with the same energy and precision of the Ruchottes, all wrapped in a stony and perfectly balanced finish that seems to have no end. A stunning wine that should age for years and this is potentially the best CSJ that I have seen in the last 20 years.
Alan Meadows - Burghound - 01-Jan-2008

Jancis - This is the first wine in this line-up to have been raised exclusively in new oak. Deep and apparently glowing with health. Extremely rich and absorbing on the nose. Exciting, cherry-like fruit. Very transparent and energetic – what a vineyard! Racy, morello cherry fruit that invites you to see what glows through it. The oak is perceptible only at the very end of the palate. Long, flirtatious health juice.
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - 12-Aug-2007

Clive Coates - Full colour. Still youthful. Expressive nose nonetheless. Excellent richness and depth. A touch of oak. Full body. Lovely ripe, classy tannins. Very good grip. Old viney concentration. Splendid harmony. Excellent.
Clive Coates

Tanzer - Good medium cherry-red. Red berries, red cherry, mint and smoky, spicy oak on the nose. A step up in sweetness and volume from the foregoing 2005s, with a strong spice character to its red fruit flavors. This densely packed wine expands on the back half, gaining in thickness without showing any impression of heaviness. Finishes with lush, fine-grained, oak-driven tannins, a distinctive stoniness, and insinuating length. Perhaps the oakiest of these wines today, and in need of extended cellaring.
Stephen Tanzer - Mar-2008

The Producer

Domaine Armand Rousseau

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 finewine@bbr.com or on 020 3301 2883 for more information.

The Grape

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

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.

The Region

Gevrey Chambertin

Gevrey Chambertin

Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest wine-producing village in Burgundy’s Côte d'Or, with its vineyards spilling over into the next door commune of Brochon.

Located in the far north of the Côtes de Nuits above Morey-St Denis, classic Gevrey-Chambertin is typically deeper in colour, firmer in body and more tannic in structure than most red Burgundy. The best can develop into the richest, most complete and long-lived Pinot Noir in the world. This is largely thanks to the iron-rich clay soils, though much depends on whether the vineyard is located on either the steeper slopes (Evocelles, Clos St Jacques) or the flatter, richer soils (Clos Prieur, Combottes).

Whereas in the past there have been numerous underperformers in Gevrey-Chambertin exploiting the reputation of this famous village and its iconic Grands Crus, today there are many fine sources to choose from, and overall quality is higher than ever.

Gevrey-Chambertin’s greatest Grand Cru is named after the field of the monk Bertin (Champ de Bertin). In 1847, Gevrey appended the name of this illustrious vineyard, Chambertin, setting a trend for the other principle villages to follow. Le Chambertin may not be quite as sumptuous as Musigny or Richebourg, or as divinely elegant as La Tâche or Romanée-St Vivant, but it is matched only by the legendary Romanée-Conti for completeness and luscious intensity.

In all, Gevrey boasts an impressive nine Grands Crus, with the name of Chambertin retaining a regal omnipresence throughout its finest vineyard names. The other truly great Grand Cru is Chambertin-Clos de Bèze which has the right to sell its wines simply as ‘Chambertin’, and is the only wine allowed to put the Chambertin name before, rather than after, its own. Situated slightly further up the hill, the wines are fractionally less powerful yet full of sensual charm and finesse.

Quality-wise the next best are generally acknowledged to be Mazis-Chambertin and Latricières-Chambertin. The former is incredibly concentrated and very fine, but its structure is a little less firm than Le Chambertin. Latricières is less about power (although it can be explosively fruity) and more about an entrancing silkiness.

Situated slightly higher up the slope, Ruchottes-Chambertin is impressively rich, stylish and slightly angular. The tiny Griottes-Chambertin, which owes its name to the grill-pan shape of the vineyard rather than the wine’s griotte cherry aroma, is lower down the slope and boasts a velvety texture and rich fruit reminiscent of Chambertin itself. It is generally better than the lighter, although wonderfully fragrant Chapelle-Chambertin and Gevrey’s largest Grand Cru, the pure and seductive (if variable) Charmes-Chambertin.

Gevrey also has some outstanding Premier Crus on the south-east-facing slopes above the town. Les Cazetiers and especially Clos St Jacques produce some exceptional wines. Indeed Armand Rousseau, who pioneered domaine bottling here in the 1930s and is still one of the region’s very best producers, often sells his Clos St Jacques for more than several of his Grand Crus.

Drinking dates for these wines vary, but Grand Crus are generally best from at least 10 to 25 years, Premier Crus from eight to 20 years, and village wines from five to 12 years.

  • 315 hectares of village Gevrey Chambertin
  • 84 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). The foremost vineyards include Clos St Jacques, Lavaux St Jacques, Combottes, Corbeaux, Cherbaudes, Cazetiers.
  • 55 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards: Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Latricières-Chambertin, Ruchottes-Chambertin, Mazis-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyères-Chambertin, Chapelle-Chambertin, Griottes-Chambertin..
  • Recommended producers:  Bachelet, Dugat, Esmonin, Mortet, Rossignol Trapet, Rousseau, Serafin, Bernstein
  • Recommended restaurants : Chez Guy (good wine list), Rôtisserie du Chambertin (and Bistro)

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