London-based wine merchant Roberson recently hosted a rare tasting of Domaine Armand Rousseau - and what a treat it was writes Christelle Guibert...

London-based wine merchant Roberson recently hosted a rare tasting of Domaine Armand Rousseau – and what a treat it was (writes Christelle Guibert). It’s not every day you get a chance to try a flight of 10 wines from one of the greatest Burgundy producers.

Armand Rousseau began his career as a wine broker, but inherited a few hectares of vines and a cellar at Gevrey Chambertin at the beginning of the 20th century. During the 1910s and 20s, he expanded the domaine, purchasing plots in Charmes-Chambertin, Clos de La Roche and Chambertin. He was one of the first producers to bottle his own wine and to ship wine to the United States at the end of Prohibition in the mid to late 1930s.

By the time of Rousseau’s death in 1959, the estate had grown to 6.5 hectares, by then including plots in Mazis-Chambertin (added in 1937), Mazoyeres-Chambertin (in 1940) and the prestigious Clos Saint Jacques (1954). The Domaine passed to Armand’s son Charles, who continued to expand the property by buying up parcels in Clos de Bèze (1961), Clos de la Roche (1965 and 1975) and the entire vineyard of Clos des Ruchottes in 1978. Today, Domaine Armand Rousseau stands at just under 14ha and Charle’s son Eric Rousseau is the current winemaker.

For me, the highlight of the evening was the 1990 Mazis-Chambertin, followed by the 2001 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and the 1er cru 2000 Clos Saint-Jacques. Most of the older vintages are no longer available on the market and this was a great opportunity to try bottles money can simply no longer buy. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on Roberson’s 2011 tasting calendar!