Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018 750ml - Bottle Shop of Spring Lake
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Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018 750ml
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Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018

  • v97
  • wa96

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This tiny wine estate, now encompassing just 4 hectares in size in Gevrey-Chambertin in the Burgundy's Côte de Nuits, has been run almost single-handedly by the magical Denis Bachelet since 1983. His ability for making pure, graceful wines seems to be entirely natural and he exploits this gift to the fullest. Denis, having been born in Belgium, would visit his grandparents in Gevrey on school holidays and came to love the magic of the vigneron’s world. He became fully involved in winemaking from 1983, shortly after his grandfather’s death; whether fortuitously or not, the Bachelet wines were outstanding in that year, an otherwise damp and difficult vintage. The Charmes-Chambertin remained a joy to drink over the next fifteen years. 

La finesse avant tout--finesse before all things--is Denis Bachelet’s watchword and this shows in every wine he makes. There is more attention paid to yields, a better selection of barrels in the cellar (about one-third new oak for the Gevrey-Chambertin and 50% for the crus) and a feeling of a man in absolute control of his wines and winery.  Denis of course believes that the quality of the wine comes from his work in the vineyard, which now includes green harvesting whenever a patch of vines threatens to set too heavy a crop. At harvest time, the grapes are sorted in the vineyard to remove anything rotten or otherwise dubious, and from 2003, a further triage has been carried out on a new vibrating sorting table. 

The grapes are 100% destemmed, then crushed which Denis prefers for color 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. Simple but sensible winemaking, amended according to intuition if need be. And the viticulture at the estate is conducted with Lutte raisonnée (aka sustainable).

Denis Bachelet is a benchmark producer for Charmes-Chambertin. He owns just 0.44 hectares of this Grand Cru vineyard, but it’s the best part right between the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey-St.-Denis. It’s split into two plots located in the center of ‘Aux Charmes’ with a production of around 2000 bottles per year! The vines in this vineyard were planted between 1907 and 1917, so they are extremely old and historic vines. 

  • v97

The 2018 Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru comprises eight-and-a-quarter barrels this year. Interestingly, Bachelet lamented how the shallow soils exacerbate the drought conditions, to the extent that he is afraid that at some point in the future the parcel will need to be replanted with rootstocks more acclimated to a lack of moisture. The crystalline, floral bouquet blossoms in the glass, turning very intense and delivering a mixture of red and black fruit laced with rose petals and iris flower. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. Not a powerful Grand Cru by a long way, but much more refined and graceful, almost dichotomous to the growing season. A dash of white pepper peps up the finish. Sublime. Drinking Window: 2023-2050. 95-97 Points.

January 2020
Wine Advocate
  • wa96

Exquisitely balanced with just 13.2% natural alcohol, Bachelet's 2018 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes has realized all the promise it showed in barrel, wafting from the glass with notes of cherries, plums, orange rind, raw coca, woodsmoke and rich, loamy soil. Full-bodied, layered and velvety, it's deep and concentrated, built around lively acids and an elegantly muscular chassis of rich, powdery tannins. Seamless and complete, this is another brilliant Charmes from Bachelet, and I can't wait to revisit it a decade or two from now. Drink Date: 2026-2058.

William Kelley, June 14, 2021
Sparkling Rosé
No Sulfites Added
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