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Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2016

  • RP98
  • V96
  • D95
  • BH94
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are six barrels of the 2016 Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru this year since the grand cru was touched by the frost, albeit to a lesser degree than in Chambertin. It has a very pure and complex bouquet, with scents of black cherry and wild strawberry, cold wet slate, something almost like wild moorland. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, perfectly judged acidity, almost gentle on the entry and then nonchalantly fanning out as it goes along. There is absolutely nothing grandiose about this Charmes-Chambertin, but the finesse and the poise, not least the extraordinarily long aftertaste is something to behold. Nobody makes Charmes-Chambertin like Denis Bachelet.
Barrel Sample: 96-98
V 96
Vinous
(aging in 50% new oak; this fruit was picked at 12.2% potential alcohol and chaptalized to 13.2%): Deep red with ruby tones. Brooding aromas of black cherry, flowers and licorice complicated by a sexy animal nuance. Very concentrated, utterly seamless Charmes with complex soil tones to go along with its flavors of dark fruits, licorice and flowers. A wonderfully mouthfilling wine without any impression of weight. Finishes with aristocratic tannins and explosive rising floral length. This has all of the elements to make a great bottle, possibly among the best Charmes-Chambertins of Bachelet's career (his first vinification was in 1983).
Barrel Sample: 93-96
D 95
Decanter
The lone grand cru in the Bachelet cellar, which hails from vines planted before 1920, is extraordinary in 2016, offering up a brooding nose of black cherry, blueberry, coniferous forest floor, rich soil and a framing of well-integrated new oak. On the palate, the wine is ample, full-bodied and very elegant, with a lovely core of cool fruit; a layered, multidimensional texture; and a long, scintillating finish. Pure and delightfully transparent.
BH 94
Burghound.com
An elegant, pure and perfumed nose offers up plenty of spice and discreet floral nuances on the mix of both red and dark berry fruit scents. Consistent with the nose there is a lovely inner mouth perfume to the impressively rich and concentrated middle weight plus flavors that possess outstanding complexity on the mouth coating finish that goes on and on. While there is a hint of backend warmth it's not really enough to materially impair the overall sense of balance. This is first-rate.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
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Domaine Denis Bachelet

Domaine Denis Bachelet

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Domaine Denis Bachelet, France
When Denis Bachelet took on the domaine in 1983 it covered just 1.8 hectares. Not much, but what there was, was prime land – grand cru in Charmes-Chambertin, a bit of Gevrey-Chambertin on both village and premier cru level and one parcel in the regional Bourgogne appellation. All planted with old vines. But since his grandparents had retired in 1973 everything had to be built up from scratch again. There was no cellar, no equipment. The most recent acquisitions were in 2011 when more Côte de Nuits-Villages and Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles were added to the domaine. At Domaine Bachelet the work is conducted along the lines of lutte raisonnée, sustainable viticulture. The grapes are 100% destemmed, then crushed for colour extraction. After a cool pre-fermentation maceration for up to a week, the vats get to work fermenting the juice with natural yeasts fermentation. As soon as fermentation has finished the contents of the vats are pressed off and left to settle in tank for a week before putting in barrel.
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This small village is home to the Grands Crus in the farthest northerly stretches of Côte de Nuits and is famous for some of the deepest and firmest Burgundian Pinot noir.

Gevrey boasts nine Grands Crus, the best of which are arguably Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. As with all of the fragmented vineyards of Burgundy, it isn’t easy to differentiate between the two, which are situated adjacent with Clos de Bèze slightly further up the hill than Le Chambertin. Clos de Bèze has a shallower soil and if you’re really counting, may produce wines less intense but more likely to charm. Some compare Le Chambertin in both power and plentitude only to the prized Romanée-Conti Grand Cru farther south in Vosne-Romanée.

Two other Grands Crus vineyards, Mazis-Chambertin (also written Mazy-) and Latricières-Chambertin command almost as much regard as Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. The upper part of Mazy, called Les Mazis Haut is the best and Latricières-Chambertin offers an abundance of juicy fruit and a silky texture in the warmer vintages.

Other Grands Crus are Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyères-Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin.

The most respected Pinot noir wines from Gevrey-Chambertin are robust and powerful but at the same time, velvety and expressive: black fruit, black liquorice and chocolate come into play. After some time in the bottle, the wines are harmonious with bright and sometimes candied fruit, and aromas of musk, truffle and forest floor. These have staying power.

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

PRG001345_16_2016 Item# 527265

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