• Gevrey Chambertin Comeback: 2019 Claude Dugat

    Gevrey Chambertin Comeback: 2019 Claude Dugat

    In 2011, Claude Dugat was one of the first great tastings that tipped off that my year in Burgundy would be a fruitful one. Visting Burgundy this past December, it was clear this domaine has captured the interest of Burg-purists. I came across the cuvée at top restaurants and even natural-leaning wine shops. The wines are a towering example of Gevrey Chambertin terroir from old vines.

    In the 90s and into the aughts, the knock on Dugat (and neighbor Dugat-Py) was that extraction and new oak were obtrusive. Thankfully, they've made a comeback since Claude passed the reigns to his children. "Picking is earlier, the wines are no longer chaptalized, and the use of new oak is a touch more restrained," according to William Kelley, "but above all, simply better integrated, with François Frères supplying barrels that seem to harmonize much more discreetly with the wines raised in them than was sometimes the case in yesteryear."

    Vine yields are kept low, of course, but the secret formula might be the very tiny berries that provide an excellent skin-to-juice ratio. What stands out first and foremost is the sheer concentration of fruit, plus the harmony of tannins and acidity—this kind of Gevrey showcases just how good villages Red Burgundy can be. Tasting the 2019 Gevrey Chambertin on its home turf drove home that I'm hard-pressed to find a better villages cuvée there outside of Rousseau and Bachelet.

    Shop Claude Dugat Wines

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Quiet Confidence: 2018 Duroché Gevrey Chambertin

    Quiet Confidence: 2018 Duroché Gevrey Chambertin

    I didn't need validation on the quality of Domaine Duroché, but a tasting in Gevrey Chambertin with Pierre further drove the point home. Duroché's wines are models for the transparency and fine tannins that Gevrey is capable of, with an inherent structure and dark earth signature synonymous with the village.

    Duroché wines have a hallmark featherweight texture and racy minerality that are impressively persistent. The Premier and Grand Crus from Duroché are exhilarating, but it's the Gevrey Chambertin lieu-dit that shouldn't be overlooked in this lineup. Le Clos is a minuscule parcel made of less than half a hectare. The grapes are 100% de-stemmed and raised in 15 to 20% new oak, without fining or filtering. It's a benchmark villages level bottling that calls to mind iconic yet understated examples from Mugnier and D'Angerville.

    Pierre Duroché is the 5th generation to oversee his family's eight-hectare estate, assisting his father in 2003 and taking full control of operations in 2009. Pierre's home village is often characterized by its dark earth notes and formidable structure; this often leads winemakers to implement more new oak and push for maximum extraction and flash, but Pierre takes his cues from an entirely different playbook. Whether you're a seasoned Burgundy collector or interested in finding under-the-radar superstars, these are not to be missed!

    Shop Duroché Wines

    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Domaine Fourrier: Gevrey's Satin Splendor

    Domaine Fourrier: Gevrey's Satin Splendor

    It's no secret that over the last decade Jean-Marie Fourrier has catapulted his family's domaine into elite status within Burgundy. Fourrier is the 5th generation to lead this 9-hectare Gevrey Chambertin estate, officially taking over for his father in 1994 after interning with the mythical Henri Jayer.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the Domaine Fourrier lineup, highlighted by the 2017 vintage.

    The wines of Fourrier are most associated in my mind for their silken texture with ripe and vivid fruit. They also are lauded for their ability to drink great at all stages of development. But, above all, it's a sense of purity and site reflection that have put them atop the wishlist of every traditional Burgundy collector.

    2017 is a red vintage in Burgundy that will show a ton of accessibility and charm in the near term, with softer tannins and more open-knit fruit than we saw in 2015 & 2016. Structurally, the wines share a profile with the 2007 vintage, but the quality of fruit at harvest is much more sound with no signs of the herbal elements that kept that vintage from entering a more elite category. 2017, unlike 2015 & 2016 is a vintage where terroir shines through first and foremost, as opposed to being marked by the aforementioned vintages' intensely robust and dark fruit profile. Generally speaking, the 2017's veer more into the red fruit register. 

    Jean-Marie is most noted for his strict reliance on using only old vines for domaine bottlings - averaging 60 years according to my visit in November 2012. The maximum new oak employed is 20%, and like Jayer grapes here are overwhelmingly de-stemmed.

    Much of the magic to the wines' purity has to be tied into Jean-Marie's practice of using very minimal amounts of sulphur, instead relying on dissolved CO2 to remain in the wine protecting against oxidation. Because of this it's recommended that younger bottles are double decanted to help "blow-off" any slight effervescence that might remain.
    Posted by Willie Mort
  • Burguet's Dark Side of Gevrey:  Insider's 100-yr-old Vielles Vignes

    Burguet's Dark Side of Gevrey: Insider's 100-yr-old Vielles Vignes

    Finding Gevrey Chambertin that strictly relies on old vines is rare. Fourrier and Bachelet are famous for this. Vielles Vignes (old vine) bottlings can have different age criteria based on producer, and for this we must be surgical in selection. When it comes to Burguet's 1910-planted vines in Gevrey Chambertin we're talking about the real McCoy.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2016 Burguet Gevrey Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes for $84 per bottle, and down to $79.75 on 4-Packs.

    It was Denis Bachelet's importer, Becky Wasserman, who introduced me to the Mes Favorites cuvée from brothers, Eric and Jean-Luc Burguet. Visiting the village's top restaurant Rôtisserie du Chambertin last year, again this house bottling proved to check all the boxes for my kind of secret cellar treat.

    Taking cues from icons Fourrier and Bachelet, these 100-yr-old vines produce tiny, millerandage clusters that benefit from 100% de-stemming and gentle extraction. The counter-punch between these concentrated dark wines and the silky, underlying mineral threads is why the purest wines of Gevrey garner so much attention. In the minuscule, but monumental 2016 vintage, Burguet flaunts Gevrey's most black-fruited and dark earth persona.

    Alain Burguet is famous for starting this domaine from the ground up in 1974, a true rarity in Gevrey Chambertin where inheritance and marriage are the keys to owning 100-yr-old vines. In the late 90's Alain's two sons began to take over and implement some changes with an eye toward showing an even more polished, transparent, and forest floor personality of this grand village known for muscularity. Terroir focus through low new oak, low sulphur, native yeast ferments, and minimal extraction have all been keys in this domaine's rise.

    Burguet thrills me in capturing the grandeur of the village that's home to nine Grand Crus with its black plum, game, and scorched earth notes. While Gevrey's top bottlings fetch record amounts, it's diamonds in the rough like Mes Favorites that discerning Burgundy fanatics turn to for the greatest secret values.

    "A more deeply pitched array offers up notes of dark currant, plum, earth and a hint of the sauvage. As is usually the case there is a bit more size, weight and richness and much more minerality present on the medium weight flavors that exhibit good power on the slightly more complex finish that is presently somewhat youthfully austere. This is worth checking out."
    - Allen Meadows of Burghound (January 2018) 
    "Plum, chocolate and spice all run through Burguet's 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes. With a huge core of fruit and notable depth, the Favorites comes across as quite dark and concentrated."
    - Stephen Tanzer of Vinous (January 2018)
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Lieu-Dit Lust:  2016 Marc Roy Gevrey Chambertin Clos Prieur

    Lieu-Dit Lust: 2016 Marc Roy Gevrey Chambertin Clos Prieur

    “As I have commented in the past, Roy just doesn’t seem to miss as she’s a perfectionist.”

    – Allen Meadows, Burghound

    As any lover of Burgundy knows, one of the most satisfying aspects of collecting is finding special vineyards that fly under-the-radar due to humble villages designations, yet hang tight with Grand Cru terroir. Clos Prieur of Gevrey Chambertin is one of those secret sites, and Alexandrine Roy of Domaine Marc Roy now defines the heights this lieu-dit (named vineyard) is capable of achieving.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2016 Marc Roy Gevrey Chambertin Clos Prieur for $89 per bottle. 

    Clos Prieur is a very small vineyard located directly east and adjacent to Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin. Situated on limestone bedrock with high portions of iron and clay, vines organically farmed here by Alexandrine are 60+ yrs old. Stylistically, Roy is known for very concentrated and ripe fruit coming from an unusual collection of nearly all old vines. Purity is front and center with all grapes being de-stemmed, and extraction kept modest. Aging here is 50% new French oak to soften Gevrey's inherently formidable tannins, though in bottle, Clos Prieur is all about silky fuit and exotic spices.

    Alexandrine's Clos Prieur is undoubtedly fruit-forward in style, with black cherry and plum fruit melding with game and forest floor notes that will ensure drinkers are very much in the old world. The real skill, as I see it, is Clos Prieur's finish, always wrapping up dry and full of lingering mouth-watering mineral notes. If there was one lieu-dit and one producer to embody the secrets to be found tucked adjacent to Grand Crus, Roy's Clos Prieur would be atop my list.

    Alexandrine also produces a very rare cuvée comprised exclusively of millerandage grapes clusters - those that are very tiny and result in high skin:juice ratio. This micro-production wine is fermented in small stainless steel vats and is punched down exclusively by foot. Aging takes place in 70% new French oak.

    And, finally, her rare Côte de Nuits Chardonnay from Marsannay's Les Champs Perdrix lieu-dit is a wonderful place to turn to see what the more limited Chardonnay plantings in this Pinot Noir-dominant zone of Burgundy can reveal. More tropical and broad on the palate with a serious dollop of salty inflection make this a great departure from what you may be accustomed to from Côte de Beaune villages like Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen