Visiting with François Bertheau for my second time earlier this month was a great reminder to how these wines are definitive examples of Chambolle Musigny, a village that can express purity of Pinot Noir like nowhere else. At under 1,300 cases from only 6 hectares of vines, the understated style of Bertheau perfectly suits what I come to expect from my favorite village in Burgundy. If there's one name that represents Chambolle typicity above any other, it is Bertheau.

Sensitive and thoughtful are the two traits of François that always seem to ring the truest as I've walked away from these two visits. There is no artifice, only ultimate craftsmanship in this cellar that covers only a handful of cuvées from parcels spread throughout Chambolle. Hand labeling for to-go orders (pictured above) is a touch that illustrates François' sensibilities. 

Not only is new oak kept to minimum levels (20%) on Grand Crus, but the ChambollePremier Cru bottlings offered today see partial elévage in foudre, a rarity for Pinot Noir in the Côte de Nuits. Chambolle's high proportion of active limestone endows wines here with unrivaled perfume, grace, and a lacy mouthfeel that's only achieved through the most sensitive approach in the cellar. This larger format aging helps preserve these crystalline qualities of Pinot Noir from the Villages and Premier levels.

The Premier Cru designate bottlings has long been a favorite of mine. It's a blend of four excellent 1ers, for no reason other than quantity doesn't allow for single vineyard bottling. Noirots and Baudes both sit below Grand Cru Bonnes Mares, and Gruenchers and 
Groseilles sit next to one another below Les Fuées, and contain some of the oldest vines of the domaine.

Bonnes Mares is the sole Grand Cru holding of Bertheau. The placement of vines runs right through the middle of this GC that's often regarded as the King of the village due to it's higher proportion of marl and darker soils. However, Bertheau's is consistently the most lifted and ethereal version of the site I've ever tasted, still with a structure you would expect given the designation. Today's offering of 2010 and 2002 are top vintages over the last several decades, and both will offer great drinking well into their 30th birthdays.

Bottlings of Bertheau back to the 80's are still atop my list of the most profound Burgundy's I've ever had. They embody the essence of what makes Pinot Noir from this village so cherished. They continue to stay ethereal, but hold onto a finely woven thread of chalky minerality that support structure for the long haul in cellar.

2x 2015 François Bertheau Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru
$124 per bottle.

5x 2008 François Bertheau Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru
$109 per bottle.

3x 2010 François Bertheau Bonnes Mares 
$499 per bottle.

5x 2002 François Bertheau Bonnes Mares 
$449 per bottle.

1x 2000 François Bertheau Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes
$169 per bottle.