Domaine Armand Rousseau   Charmes Chambertin

2008 Charmes-Chambertin

By Domaine Armand Rousseau

2008 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy

The celebrated vintage of 2008 from Burgundy continues to captivate collectors and investors alike. Among these, the 2008 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau stands as an archetype of finesse and complexity that perfects the very notion of this esteemed Grand Cru terroir.


Elegantly Evolving: A Testament to Terroir and Time

Upon approach, one is immediately greeted by an aromatic bouquet that tells a story of patient evolution. The nuanced interplay between ripe fruit and earthy undertones provides insight into the wine's journey through more than a decade of maturation. Notes of black cherry and raspberry leap forth, partnered with whispers of violets, withered leaves, and a hint of truffle – nuances emblematic to the specific terroirs of Burgundy's 2008 vintage. These assert themselves elegantly without domination, revealing the meticulous cultivation and vinification practices honed over generations at Domaine Armand Rousseau.


A Grand Cru Investment: Promising Potential for Pleasure and Profit

The palate offers a masterclass in balance; the 2008 Charmes-Chambertin delivers on its initial promise with red fruits dancing through a well-structured body enlivened by vibrant acidity. This acid backbone suggests continued ageing potential, an enticing proposition for investors seeking wines with a promising future trajectory both within the glass and the market.

Assuredly, the tannins are refined - indicative of expert barrel ageing – leading to a lengthy finish that sings with spices and subtle minerality. Herein lies the vintage's climate narrative, where cooler temperatures yielded grapes of exceptional depth and concentration, yet retained overwhelming finesse.

The 2008 Charmes-Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau encapsulates a vintage that deftly demonstrates Burgundy's ability to triumph even in challenging years. The wine presents itself as not only a beacon for connoisseurs seeking remarkable drinking experiences but also for those who discerningly invest in fine wines. It is an intricate composition tethered by its storied past, yet buoyant with untold future distinction—a gem worthy of any investor's portfolio.

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Rousseau’s 2008 Charmes-Chambertin – as usual, two-thirds of it from Mazoyeres – represents (also as usual) the slightly weak link in their collection. Cinnamon tinged fresh red cherry in the nose leads to a refreshing but tart and rather spare palate, with notes from barrel (even though these are one year old, not new) laid alongside rather than integrated with the red fruits. Touches of salt and chalk inform the satisfyingly juicy though not at all rich finish. Perhaps this will integrate or even fatten a bit before bottling, but I don’t fancy it being a wine to hold for more than 6-8 years. Eric Rousseau did not begin harvesting until September 28, but was finished already on October 4, with – as usual – the entire burden of selection placed on his pickers. The resultant wines prove that, as he puts it “they know what they’re doing” and sorting tables are unnecessary. Grapes came in between around 12% and 13.2%, were virtually all destemmed, and were only lightly chaptalized. Levels of malic acid were however higher even than in 2004, reports Rousseau, who compares the fruit with that of 1996, but does not finger the wines as strong candidates for long-term aging (“long term” – bear in mind – meaning upwards of 20 years in the context of a Rousseau track-record). When I tasted his 2008s in late February, Rousseau was planning to bottle them in March or April, a bit earlier than usual, although several struck me as relatively unformed. But then, his malos had finished by July – not late in terms of the vintage. (Unfortunately, I had only one chance to taste Rousseau 2007s: fleetingly, selectively, at a stage too early to merit reporting on in detail, although the trend was promising and Rousseau is keen on the results.) Importer: Frederic Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; tel. (212) 355-0700

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 28 June 2010

Vintage performance