Domaine Armand Rousseau   Charmes Chambertin

2006 Charmes-Chambertin

By Domaine Armand Rousseau

2006 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy, France

In the vast pantheon of Burgundian vintners, Domaine Armand Rousseau stands as a beacon of excellence, and their wine is a testament to their skillful vinification. The 2006 vintage in Burgundy offered vintners a kaleidoscope of challenges, yet led to wines of intriguing complexity when placed in the hands of masterful producers like Rousseau.


A Mosaic of Excellence: The 2006 Vintage

Harvested from ancient vines rooted deep within the revered soils of Gevrey-Chambertin, this wine serves as an eloquent narrative of its climatic year. A season marked by a cool spring and heated summertime, 2006 coaxed wines with juxtaposing characteristics—robust yet delicate, structured yet elegant. This particular vintage benefits from Rousseau’s signature approach to winemaking, marrying tradition with acute precision.


Assured Ageing: A Decade Plus Evolution

The 2006 wine unfolds with grace—a mosaic where each piece contributes to its splendour. As befits a wine crafted for longevity, more than a decade has seen it evolve into a matured beauty. The intricate lattice of tannins has softened, allowing the tapestry of ripe red fruits, accented by whispers of sous bois and exotic spices, to emerge through the silky texture on the palate.

In relation to fine wine investment, this wine reveals itself as a particularly enticing opportunity for collectors. With its capacity for further maturation and its place amongst the oeuvre of Rousseau’s laudable vintages, it offers both pleasure and potential.

In summing up, the 2006 wine from Domaine Armand Rousseau is a compelling chapter in the domain’s storied legacy. The vintage’s weather-borne challenges are translated into a wine that parades Rousseau’s adept touch—and an assured selection for enthusiasts looking to enhance their portfolios with a Burgundian star that shines bright with promise and provenance.

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Scores and tasting notes


A 2006 Charmes-Chambertin – two-thirds of it from Mazoyeres – is light in both color and weight, which seems to reflect normalcy in these vines; but certainly no special precautions taken in extraction, since Rousseau says this site was untouched by hail. There is a fine saline, meat stock, and bright fresh cherry amalgamation on a finely-textured palate, and a subtly bitter-sweet, deeply carnal and refreshingly-, succulently-fruited finish. This is certainly a wine that in an unapologetic sense epitomizes delicacy and finesse. As with others in its stylistic camp and the present collection, I imagine it being best enjoyed within the next half dozen years, while being perfectly prepared for an eventual surprise. Since Eric Rousseau – as mentioned in my issue 170 run-down of his methodology – does not on principle utilize a sorting table, I imagined the aftermath of hail in 2006 presenting a special challenge to his pickers and to bottled quality, but it was one he and his team clearly surmounted. Clos de Beze, Griotte-, and Chapelle-Chambertin were the worst-effected, relates Rousseau, along with numerous of his village-level parcels. Potential alcohol levels are closer to 2003's record highs than they are to those of 2005, but the finished 2006s – while hardly as successful as their immediate predecessors – do not suffer any spirituous roughness or heat, and are thus free to effectively make their relatively light, bright, and in the best instances distinctive statements. Rousseau reports – and my limited opportunities for comparison confirm – that the initially rather austere and even brittle, disjointed personalities of these wines were ameliorated in the course of elevage, and the best of them have blossomed beautifully. (I was unable to taste several top wines here after bottling, so my notes on those are based on a representative sampling and blending from cask shortly before bottling.) Importer: Frederic Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; tel. (212) 355-0700

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2009

Vintage performance