"The 2018 Chambertin Grand Cru wafts from the glass with a complex bouquet of red berries, plums, rose petals and orange rind, framed by bass notes of rich, loamy soil and carnal nuances of smoked meats. Full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, it's layered and concentrated, its expansive attack segueing into a richly structured but impressively vibrant mid-palate, concluding with a long, resonant finish. This is a brilliant wine that readers should plan on forgetting for at least a decade.
The 2018 vintage is a great success at Domaine Armand Rousseau. Cyrielle Rousseau and her team opted to begin picking early, on September 1st, and that choice is vindicated by a beautifully balanced portfolio. All the wines had finished their malolactic fermentations by February, and everything I tasted during my November visit was decidedly "en place" and open for inspection. The 2018 collection at this address is textural, even lavishly gourmand, but remains controlled and poised, with abundant savory nuance and incipient complexity to temper the inherent sucrosity of the vintage. Worthy of note is the 2018 Clos du Château, the finest rendition of this cuvée to date, evidence that Rousseau's work to rehabilitate this neglected parcel is bearing qualitative fruit. As the source of some of Burgundy's most celebrated, sought-after wines, Rousseau's wines must be held to the highest possible standards; standards these 2018s resoundingly meet. I also revisited Rousseau's bottled 2016s at my office in the United States and found them showing superbly, as my notes attest. Tasting chez Rousseau, samples are presented from a single barrel, which—combined with the domaine's understatedly elegant style—makes revisiting the wines a few years later from bottle more than usually interesting. As readers will know, the 2016 vintage is cut from much more classic stylistic cloth than 2018: less fleshy and dramatic; racier and more ethereal. Both are great successes for the domaine, but purists will naturally gravitate towards the exquisitely classical 2016s." Robert Parker 97 Points