Domaine Armand Rousseau   Charmes Chambertin

1996 Charmes-Chambertin

By Domaine Armand Rousseau

1996 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy, France

The grandeur of Burgundy is nowhere more elegantly expressed than in the 1996 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau. This captivating vintage continues to fascinate collectors and aficionados of the region's revered Pinot Noir. Let us delve into the exquisite nuances that make this particular year a sterling selection for fine wine investors.


Unveiling a Decade-defining Vintage

The climatic interplay of 1996 bestowed upon the vineyards of Charmes-Chambertin an exceptional balance seldom seen. This year was marked by a cool spring followed by a summer with adequate warmth that progressed into an ideally timed harvest, resulting in a vintage that highlights both the vigor and the finesse innate to this terroir.

Upon tasting, one is immediately enthralled by the structured vibrancy the wine exudes—an attribute of this standout year. Initial breaths unveil complex aromatic redolence—a choreography of ripe red cherries, blackcurrant with an underpinning of earthy undertones and subtle spices. The 1996 Charmes-Chambertin conveys the intricacies of its terroir with profound articulation.


Age-Worthy Elegance Meets Investment Acumen

In the milieu of ageability, this 1996 vintage shows monumental potential. Whilst already exhibiting a remarkable palatal evolution, it remains a paragon for further maturation—a trait discerning investors should heed. Its impressive structure and acid backbone suggest that this wine not only possesses longevity but also promises to unfurl new layers of complexity as it further matures.

The palate resonates with an enviable harmony between robust tannins and lively acidity, displaying layered textures. A crescendo of refined oak integration hints at provincial influence whilst ensuring none overwhelms the intrinsic fruit purity—a testament to masterful winemaking from Domaine Armand Rousseau.


A Resplendent Offering from an Illustrious House

For those seeking to enhance their portfolio with an investment bearing impeccable provenance, look no further than the 1996 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau. Its ability to command attention on both sensory and financial levels makes it a standout contender among peers.

In summary, this offering captivates with its complexity and promises continued appreciation, both organoleptically and monetarily. It embodies the historical legacy of Burgundian excellence while showcasing the idiosyncrasies that solidified 1996 as a viticultural landmark. The 1996 Charmes-Chambertin is indubitably a crown jewel for collectors and an astute addition for those seeking depth in their fine wine investments.

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Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


This dark-colored wine may earn a score at the top of the range, if it gathers some more depth during its elevage. It displays a deep nose of super-sweet black cherries, and a pleasing, seductive, and medium-to-full-bodied character filled with delineated and pure flavors of candied raspberries and cherries. This spicy, silky-textured, expressive, and elegant wine concludes with a long, satiny finish. Projected maturity: 1999-2005. As far as the 1996 vintage is concerned, Rousseau's comments were bluntly candid - "the North wind is concentration. It saves a harvest, prevents rot, concentrates color and sugar, concentrates everything we want. 1996 is better than 1990, it may be too early to say, but there, I said it." With that, Rousseau picked up one of the tastevins hanging on the wall (these are the small, wide, shallow, and traditional silver utensils used for tasting. As far as I know he is the only Burgundian who continues to use them on a regular basis), and the tasting began. Importer: Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; tel (212) 355-0700.

Pierre Rovani - The Wine Advocate, 30 August 1998

Vintage performance