2006 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru - Domaine Armand Rousseau 沙爾姆香柏壇特級田-阿曼盧梭
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