Domaine Jean Chauvenet Nuits-St-Georges 2015
A deeply colored wine with vivacity; somewhat stern in its youth but with excellent balance and black fruit flavors.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 89-91
Domaine Jean Chauvenet began their work with Jean Chauvenet, the founder of this domaine, in 1982 and for over twenty years they participated as the exclusive US importer for the estate’s wines and observed with pleasure as Jean Chauvenet and then, his son-inlaw, Christophe Drag, built this domaine into one of the most highly respected producers working the vineyards of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Though an unfortunate misunderstanding caused them to part company in 2004, they explored a renewal of the relationship with the domaine in 2014, and the exceptional quality of the wines convinced them to once again represent this classic estate. With no less than seven premier crus complemented by serious Bourgogne Rouge and Villages-level cuvées, the comprehensive scope of vineyard holdings over their 9.5 hectares is among the greatest in the appellation. The wines of Nuits-SaintGeorges are not soft in their youth, but that is the true character of the terroir: robust tannins, dark fruit, and a mineral infusion from the iron-inflected soils that, taken together, can only come from this singular district. The estate’s holdings are farmed with the underlying objective of achieving certification as an organic grower in the coming years. Harvest is manual. Vinification is classic with 100% destemming and a brief period of cold maceration followed by two to three weeks of cuvaison, the length of which is determined by the appellation and the inherent structure of each wine. A decanting follows and then the wine is moved into small barrels where the malolactic occurs. An elevage of about 18 months occurs and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration.
Inhabiting the bottom end of the northern half of the Côte d’Or, Nuits-St-Georges is a busy, market-driven town and home to many of Burgundy’s negociants. It is also the largest town in the Côte d’Or after Beaune and contributes "nuits" to the name of Côte de Nuits (i.e., the northern half of the Côte d’Or).
The appellation itself is divided into two parts, where in the north it directly borders Vosne-Romanée, the southerly end is the commune of Prémeaux. There are no Grands Crus in this village, though it does have a large number of Premiers Crus.
The best Nuits-St-Georges Pinot Noir are layered with cherry, plum, underbrush and sandalwood. The fruit is sweet, the wine energetic, and the finish long and lush.
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.”