Domaine Gerard Raphet Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2018
Aromas of earth, baking spices, red and black berries. Fine-grained tannins; structured yet suave. Black cherries, earth.
Pair with roast pork or chicken; delicately spiced dishes.
Raphet wines are a Burgundy lover's Burgundy. They are best appreciated by those familiar with the light color and earthy flavors of classic Burgundian Pinot Noir.
Raphet over decades has become the favorite Burgundy of customers and employees alike. They are wines that many feel "speak" especially and directly to them -- not dissimilar to a work of art.
The wine's aromas depart from the traditional Burgundian violets to suggest a potpourri of cinnamon, clove and incense. The wine's light color and fine texture requires studied attention on behalf of the drinker.
Containing the largest Grand Cru in all of the Côte d’Or, Vougeot, the village, takes its name from the small stream flowing through it, called Vouge. Over three quarters of the village retains Grand Cru status, and a single vineyard at that: Clos de Vougeot (or simply, Clos Vougeot). Its mass—over 50 ha—retains the single name chiefly for historic reasons.
But today, Clos de Vougeot contains over 80 owners and shows significant soil and slope variations within its boundaries. The top, bordering Musigny and Grands Echezeaux, is calcareous and gravelly on oolitic limestone and exhibits wonderful drainage. The middle sections are limestone, gravel and clay with less of a slope. The lower part has little slant and is mostly made of clay. Historically the diverse parcels were blended but today the abundance of owners means that everyone has his own style. Exploring and understanding them is part of the allure of Clos de Vougeot.
In general a fine Clos de Vougeot when young will be dense and dark but juicy, with a pronounced austerity, and needs a good ten years to bring it to its full potential.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”