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Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1996

Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1996
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/ 750ml
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VM97: Now at 23-years of age, the 1996 Chambertin Grand Cru shows a little bricking on the rim, appropriate with its age. The nose is as fragrant as I remember: wilted iris petals gently waft from the glass, cool and reserved. Indeed, I found this bottle initially aloof and standoffish, like many Côte de Nuits this vintage, before developing more fruit intensity, mainly black rather than red laced with loam and Earl Grey. The palate is just beautifully balanced. It is a stout and swarthy Chambertin so much so that you risk overlooking what for a 1996 is its filigree tannin structure. The fruit profile becomes redder towards the finish with a kiss of sour cherry and orange rind that all feel so precise and sophisticated. This multi-faceted and cerebral Chambertin is reaching its lofty plateau.

WA96: This wine reveals a dark ruby color and mouth-watering aromas of smoked pork, bacon, juicy blackberries, road tar, raw meat, and a hint of eucalyptus. This block-buster is big, broad, dense, concentrated and complete. It is oily textured, full-bodied, and offers sublime layers of candied black raspberries, blueberries, violets, lilies, fresh herbs, Asian spices, leather, stones, smoke, and toast. This formidably structured and profound wine demands patience. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2018. Bravo! 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.

Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Vinous Media
Wine Advocate