Tasting of Domaine Armand Rousseau 2011 from Cask

Domaine Armand Rousseau is one of the iconic producers in Burgundy, and have maintained this position for decades. Under the leadership of Eric Rousseau they have furthermore improved the quality of the entry level wines, and the whole lineup is now among the very best in the Cote de Nuits.

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I have never visited Armand Rousseau before, and I was therefore very delighted when I received the news about a visit at Domaine Rousseau to taste the 2011 vintage.

It was with very high expectations I entered the gate of Domaine Rousseau, and was greeted by Charles Rousseau, from his office next to the entrance. Let me just say … I was not disappointed…

Overall impression of the Rousseau 2011 wines

In my view Domaine Armand Rousseau has really nailed the 2011 vintage, and made the most of the positive qualities of this fine vintage.

All the wines are fresh, transparent and terroir driven, with a intense and pure pinot fruit. They are balanced with a good acidity and minerality reflecting the individual terroirs. The quality is very fine and the top wines are among the very best I have tasted from the 2011 vintage.

Notes from tasting at Domaine Armand Rousseau – October 26th 2012

Armand Rousseau, Gevrey Chambertin 2011

The Gevrey Chambertin is a pure and refined village wine, with all the positive caracteristics of the 2011 vintage. In the nose fresh pinot aromas – raspberries and dark cherries with a lovely earthy minerality. On the palate good energy with quite intense pure and round pinot fruit. A finely balanced village wine with a lovely expression of the Gevrey terroir.

20120309-125513.jpgVery Good (87 – 89p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Gevrey Chambertin Laveaux Saint Jacques 2011

The Laveaux-Saint-Jacques is quite a big step up from the village Gevrey. In the bouquet lovely red fruit notes, with jellied elements of forrest strawberries, raspberries and cherries. Very charming nose with the beautiful sweet fruits and the crisp minerality. On the palate finely balanced with a core of cool seductive pinot fruit, good vibrant acidity and minerality. A beautilful wine with a lovely purity and good energy.

20120309-125513.jpgFine (89 – 92p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Charmes Chambertin 2011

The Charmes Chambertin is a step up in concentration and focus, but somewhat more aloof than the Laveaux. In the bouquet more spicy and mineral notes with elements of dark cherries, raspberries, violets and peppar. On the palate good concentration, sharper and more focused with more tannins in the finish. A fine wine – but not showing all the qualities at the moment.

20120309-125513.jpgFine+ (91 – 93p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Mazis Chambertin 2011

The Mazis-Chambertin is in my view quite a step up from the Chames Chambertin. In the nose lovely red and dark forest berries, a slightly dusty minerality and some hints of pomegranate. On the palate more deep fruit on the midpalate – very fine concentration and length. A lovely refined fruit driven wine, with a beautiful terroir expression.

20120309-125513.jpgFine+ (92 – 93p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Clos de la Roche 2011

The Clos de la Roche is the odd one out in the Rousseau lineup – a beautiful wine – but quite different from the Gevrey wines. In the bouquet red and darker fruit notes – dark cherries and forest berries with hints of vanilla. On the palate deep and pure fruit, more roundly structured and finely balanced with a quite powerful acidity and minerality. A beautiful Clos de la Roche in the making.

20120309-125513.jpgFine+ (92 – 93p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Ruchotte Chambertin 2011

The Ruchotte Chambertin 2011 is a true beauty with a fantastic charm and energy. In the bouquet lovely sophisticated red fruits – strawberries, dark cherries, raspberries and pomegranate jelly. The fruit is beautifully supported by a lovely minerality and a playful acidity with a lot of energy. The palate very harmonious, with a lovely fruit, good minerality and a very fine acidity. It’s refined, complex and with a lot of energy – what a beautiful wine.

20120309-125513.jpgVery Fine+ (93 – 94p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Clos Saint Jacques 2011

The Gevrey Chambertin Clos Saint Jacques is slightly more backward and aloof than the Ruchotte. In the bouquet red and darker forrest berries, currently with a quite strong impression of the new oak. On the palate quite a step up in concentration from the Ruchotte Chambertin, beautifully balanced and structured with a very fine minerality. A very fine wine, that needs some time to unfold the complexity.

20120309-125513.jpgVery Fine (93 – 94p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Chambertin Clos de Beze 2011

The Chambertin Clos de Beze is the most backward wine of the Rousseau lineup – but no doubt well worth waiting for. In the bouquet toasted oak, fine minerality combined with a lovely dark jelly fruit with elements of strawberries, dark cherries, dark forest berries and liquorice. On the palate quite a step up in midpalate concenation – lovely fruityness with a outstanding intensity. Very intense and long finish. Powerful and yet refined – a wine for long term drinking.

20120309-125513.jpgOutstanding (94 – 96p) CASK

Armand Rousseau, Le Chambertin 2011

The Chambertin Grand Cru is a full level up in quality from the Clos de Beze. In the bouquet a refined expression of pinot fruit, terroir and oak – notes of strawberries, forest berries, pomegarnate. The oak is already quite well integrated in the nose and supporting the complex impression of fruit and minerality. On the palate very intense and powerful pinot fruit, with a strong backbone from the great Chambertin terroir. The fruit is showing lovely purity and finesse, with almost lush and silky tannins. It’s full bodied but still very refined with a very long and terroir driven finishq – lasted from Gevrey to the lunch wine at the restaurant in Chambolle-Musigny. A truly great wine.

20120309-125513.jpgOutstanding+ (96 – 97p) CASK

Tasting Notes for this producer

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