Bachelet, at $30 - Burgundy Without Compromise

Posted by CrushWine

Denis Bachelet's Authenticity
2008 Bachelet Bourgogne Rouge -
Côte de Nuits-Villages - Gevrey-Chambertin VV
SERIOUS Pinot Noir Starting at $30

"...this is essentially a one-man band. Happily it is a perfectionist and excellent one." -Clive Coates

Today, how about some world-class, artisanal, traditional, affordable Burgundy?

Heck, forget affordable "Burgundy." These are affordable Pinots, I don't care where they come from (though these happen to come from the most "classic" terroir on earth for this grape).

These are raucous, joyous, authentic Pinot Noirs that end up falling into the overlooked "basic Burgundy" genre simply because they're not Grand Cru. That doesn't exclude them from being among our favorites. Bachelet's Burgundies are incredibly well-loved middle-weight Pinots with a brashness, a freshness, an energy that makes them some of the most gulpable wines out there - though this is not to undermine their seriousness.

Bachelet gives his wines a firmness of structure that allows cellaring in the short-term, as well as a clarity that reveals a shocking articulation of soil and mineral with just a few years. These are the types of wines that can surprise you with their longevity: A few years ago we cracked open a 1990 Gevrey VV - a village-level wine at nearly 20 years old, and it was just beautiful.

Bachelet's 2008s are gorgeous - the kinds that, like the 90 VV, you may well find glowingly beautiful decades from now (if you have the patience). We should add that this is a vintage for purists - these 08s are equal parts fruit, flower, mineral and acidity. These are about vigor, energy, cut.

Denis Bachelet, the "one-man band" Coates refers to, farms a mere three hectares essentially by himself, revealing a rather dramatic disparity between the size of the estate and the fame of the estate. His Charmes, made from a 0.44-hectare (!) plot of 90-year-old vines is one of Gevrey's - even one of Burgundy's - GREAT and greatly loved, greatly sought-after wines.

That said, the example isn't relevant solely because it's a Grand Cru in question; Bachelet is also one of those producers whose entire (meager) output - across village, 1er, Grand Cru - is pretty aggressively collected, and for good reason: The wines at every level are so very, very good, thanks to old vines, low yields and sensitive winemaking across the board.

Specific descriptions of each wine available today are below. Every one is outstanding and worthy of consideration whether you're a serious Burgundy buyer or you just enjoy a casual Willamette Pinot here or there.

As a final note, all of these wines are (relatively speaking) cheap - each of them drinks well beyond their pay grade.

We don't have a whole lot of any of these (see the "tiny estate talk" above) - but they deserve attention. A bit of the Gevrey VV is in stock now; the rest arrive in the fall, perfectly in time for the cuisine that will make them sing.

Give us your maximum order, and we'll do our best to allocate fairly. To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director of Fine & Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2008 Denis Bachelet

Bourgogne Rouge
This is packed, dense, tight with dark fruit and really compelling, clean, deep black soil tones. This is one of those wines that you can down by the case-load, especially with the fall weather around the corner.

Côte de Nuits-Villages
The Côte de Nuits-Villages is richer with more layers, more earth and mineral. This isn't beyond pairing with a simple coq au vin, though there's a depth here, with great finesse and energy - this is a very, very pretty wine.

Gevrey-Chambertin VV
The Gevrey VV is a wine that sort of transcends the "basic Burg" category we've been talking about. It is rich, meaty Gevrey, with dark masculine fruit and just stunning soil-inspired complexity, great finesse. Honestly, it doesn't get much better than this and year in and year out it's one of the best village-level wines out there. Frankly, it'll embarass many 1er Crus. This is a kick up in price, but it's worth it.