A major sale of rare Burgundies at Christies, and this was a preview of one of the most celebrated properties, Domaine Armand Rousseau...

Thursday 10 June sees a major sale of rare Burgundies at Christies, and this was a preview of one of the most celebrated properties, Domaine Armand Rousseau. ‘This is one of Burgundy’s great, traditional domaines’ as Anthony Hanson put it in his definitive work on Burgundy. The Domaine currently owns 14ha, including 8ha of Grand Cru vineyards all within the communes of Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey-Saint-Denis. It is one of Burgundy’s younger houses, started by Armand Rousseau, the son of a vigneron and wine merchant, at the beginning of the 20th century. His son Charles took over after the death of his father in a car crash in 1959, and his son Eric and daughter Corinne are now involved in the domaine. Tonight’s lineup was tasted in the following order (not the order of the tasting notes below): The three Clos St Jacques – the 99, the 93 and the 88, followed by the three Chambertin Grand Cru, the 05, 02 and 95, and then the two Clos de Beze, the 90 and the 83. The tasting was fascinating – the wines harmonious, delicate, elegant and characterful. The one disappointment was the final wine, the Clos de Beze 83, which was muddy in colour and with somewhat drying tannins. We asked to have a look at another bottle but found that too disappointing. Anthony Hanson seemed to find it not the most successful but stressed, ‘you can still drink it with pleasure’. That bottle only served to throw into greater relief the extraordinary delight of the wines that had gone before.