“Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin,” so said Napoleon Bonaparte. Home to 26 Premier Crus and nine Grand Crus climats, Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest appellation in the Côte de Nuits. Its wine is internationally famous for being the peak expression of Pinot Noir. For Burgundy lovers, it requires no introduction. The vines of this appellation occupy the lower half of the Côte slopes where they lie on rich brown calcic or limey soils clothed with scree and red silt, marls and marine fossil shells (washed down from the top of the slope). All this combines to guide the wines to developing a body full with firmness. The scattering of gravel among the top soils also infuses the wine with elegance and finesse.
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Cerise, cherry, crimson, ruby, carmine, purple, dark red – no matter what you call it, the color will brighten your mood and the glass. The first aromas that will get you blood pumping include strawberry, blackberry and violet. With maturity, a bouquet of licorice, leather and fur with delectable wafts of game and forest floor will push through. On the palate, the tannins play it safe and display a very fine grain, without any astringency. Although satisfying when drunk young, Gevrey-Chambertin 2012 is essentially a wine to keep safe in the cellar and saved for that special moment to savor. Anything less, is less than it deserves. A wine for meat lovers, the Gevrey-Chambertin prefers game, T-bone steak, braised lamb and all strong-tasting and marinated meats. It goes equally well with all types of cow’s milk cheeses and characterful cheeses, in particular Epoisses cheese and, of course, Ami du Chambertin.
After the small yield, but opulent flavors, of the 2012 vintage, 2013 was another year that mother earth proved its hegemony over the vignerons and vignobles of Burgundy. The bud break was relatively late, seeping into June, following a cold, rainy and frigid Spring. Throughout June, intense rainfall delayed floraison (flowering), introducing an increased risk of blight. Pommard, as well as surrounding appellations Volnay, Beaune and Savigny-lès-Beaune, experienced a near-fatal hailstorm, identical to the power that struck in 2012. In July and August, the weather transformed again, this time for the better. Warm temperatures and sunshine envelop and clothed the vines – with some summer downpours relinquishing the heat – guiding the grapes to ripen delightfully at the end of September. Harvest began around September 23rd, with the vineyards bare of all ripe fruit come October 2nd. The year’s unstable conditions struck again with huge storms across the region’s vineyards on October 5th and 6th. Thankfully, just a few days too late to do any more damage to the net yield. Overall, the small vintage has great potential. We should all be thankful.
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