Terroir: Charmes-Chambertin is the largest Grand Cru in Gevrey-Chambertin covering 72 acres spread across many growers. Domaine Armand Rousseau owns a total of 3.4 acres in a prime position on the hill, mid-slope with an east/southeast exposure.
Vinification: Grapes are meticulously sorted as they arrive in the winery. Following a cool maceration lasting 5-7 days the must travels by gravity into barrel where it will stay for the entire vinification process lasting typically 18-24 months. Each Armand Rousseau wine is blended unfiltered.
Elegant and attractively perfumed aromas speak of red cherry, rose petal, spice and sandalwood nuances. The detailed and highly energetic medium-bodied flavors possess a sleek, even silky mouth feel before culminating in a lingering and ever-so-mildly austere finale. This well-balanced and understated effort is really quite lovely and should drink reasonably well after only 7 to 8 years of bottle age yet repay a dozen plus.
(60% Mazoyres and 40% Charmes, combined when the wine goes into barrel): Bright medium red. Brambly aromas of redcurrant, minerals and dried flowers. Tighter in the mouth than the premier crus here, showing less charm and early sweetness but noteworthy intensity and a firm shape. More minerals, dried flowers and earth than primary fruit. Charmes is never an opulent wine here, noted Rousseau, who pulled up some of his "tired old vines" after the 2011 harvest for replanting. Finishes firmly tannic but not dry. Not at all a feminine style of Charmes, no doubt owing to the high percentage of Mazoyres fruit.
The 2014 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru has an elegant red berry bouquet that could disarm you at a hundred paces. This has so much finesse and detail. The palate is taut and crisp, bright, almost lucid red cherry fruit laced with orange zest, leading to a very refined and sustained finish. This is a lovely wine -- sensual yet understated.
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