A gifted winemaker of the old school - 2011 Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny & Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Charmes

Posted by Ian McFadden

"A gifted winemaker of the old school." -Kermit Lynch
2011 Bertheau: Chambolle-Musigny
& Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Charmes

Bertheau's wines are things of beauty. They thrive on elegance instead of power. They represent Chambolle without artifice - in all its regal, silken glory.

In 2012, we penned no fewer than four emails on Bertheau. The wines have become something of an obsession for us.

It started with drinking our way through a small parcel of back-vintages - a beautiful 86 Amoureuses at Jungsik, a stunning 92 Charmes opened at the store for some friends.

These are some of the most exciting red Burgs we've tasted in years. At this point Bertheau is not widely known (and prices reflect this) but these days seem numbered.

Today, we focus on Bertheau's 2011 Chambolle-Musigny and Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Charmes, two wines that beautifully capture Bertheau's touch with Chambolle.

Chambolle is the insider's favorite village for red Burgundy. The texture, weightlessness and pinpoint definition make it impossible not to love. It also makes finding well-priced, authentic Chambolle really difficult to find. Thankfully, Bertheau excels here - these are textbook Chambolles and pricing is shockingly good.

Bertheau's 2011 Chambolle clearly shows how his finger is on the pulse of the village. The perfumed bright red fruits are just lovely. Burghound notes how it possesses a "lovely sense of underlying tension and balance to the lingering finish that is quintessential Chambolle."

The 2011 1er Cru Charmes struts the same gorgeous Chambolle signature, but takes the weightless intensity, complexity and age-worthy structure up several notches. Burghound sums it up succinctly when he calls it "lovely stuff" and notes the "impeccably well-balanced finish." Bertheau's 1er Cru Charmes has quickly become one of our favorite wines, right there with wines like Mugneret-Gibourg's Chambolle Feusselottes.

This is our first 2011 red Burgundy offer. I was really impressed with the vintage during my trip to Burgundy a couple months ago. The vintage has a lovely freshness and beautiful clarity of fruit. The wines are well concentrated and their structure boded very well for how they will age. Burghound sums up 2011 well when he writes: "they have this beguiling sense of harmony, partially because they are so well-balanced but also because the tannins are so ripe and fine grained."

2011 is a great vintage for Bertheau. In short, it's a perfect showcase for Bertheau's finely calibrated style.

To hone in on Bertheau's style, the easiest comparisons are with Jean-Marie Fourrier and Jacky Truchot. It's a style that's defined by purity and finesse. They are quiet, subtle wines that speak with captivating precision.

The sad news is that 2011, like 2010, was a short vintage. Bertheau saw 30% less wine than usual in both vintages. Bertheau is a small estate, but quantities are very tight this year. We're only sending this offer out to people who've supported the Burgundy program. Still, a sell-out is likely.

Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director Fine & Rare Wines
Crush Wine & Spirits

2011 Bertheau

"A perfumed and admirably pure nose speaks of essence of red pinot fruit and wet stone nuances that are also reflected by the delicious and silky-textured middle weight flavors. There is a lovely sense of underlying tension and balance to the lingering finish that is quintessential Chambolle. While this possesses only average complexity one couldn't ask much more in terms of the delivery."

"A similar if faintly spicier nose introduces rich and beguilingly textured medium-bodied flavors that also possess a silky mouth feel, all wrapped in a solidly persistent and impeccably well-balanced finish. Lovely stuff."<