Imposing yet highly refined - 08 Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles

Posted by Ian McFadden

"Imposing yet highly refined"
2008 Chevillon Nuits St. Georges
1er Cru Les Cailles

We have been heaping praise on Chevillon for years.

Burghound nailed what is so special about Chevillon's 2008 Les Cailles when he called it "A wine that manages to pull off the rare feat of being at once imposing yet highly refined."

Chevillon's benchmark wines offer some of the strongest value in Burgundy, and the Les Cailles 2008 on offer today takes that claim and flaunts it. At under $75, this is the lowest price in the country, and in the realm of highly ageable, impeccably crafted 1er Crus, an absolute steal.

By now, there is little doubt that Chevillon is making the greatest Nuits-Saint-Georges out there. But Chevillon is not just a big fish in an off-the-grid pond: I have no qualms about naming Chevillon one of the most consistent producers in all of Burgundy, granting him a spot on the short list of insider gems along with Angerville, Lafarge and Mugneret-Gibourg.

At Chevillon, the emphasis is on old vines and old-fashioned winemaking. The result is absolutely reference point Nuits-Saint-Georges. Andrew Jefford puts it simply: "If the style of NSG (bright, bold, fiery fruit) appeals, then this is the first name to remember: Robert Chevillon."

The purity and soil-driven vigor of 2008 were seemingly made for Chevillon, and the traditionally meaty wines to come out of the region are, in this vintage, also brimming with brightness and energy. In a vintage notable for transparency of terroir, Les Cailles, the most elegant and mineral of Chevillon's sites, showed beautifully.

Les Cailles boasts an impressive structure and masculinity, while still radiating grace. Sourced from 75-plus-year-old vines, these wines deliver an unmistakable texture and richness. Put the refinement of Chambolle-Musigny on a serious weightlifting regimen and what you have is the chiseled brawn of Les Cailles. No steroids; just discipline.

The renowned Les-Saint-Georges site is Nuits' Grand Cru in everything but name, which leaves the baroque richness of Vaucrains and the mineral elegance of Les Cailles as the neck-and-neck contenders for the pinnacle of 1er Cru.

If the lack of Grand Cru star power is one reason NSG goes overlooked, a too-swift dismissal of Nuits as blocky or inaccessible makes this region one of the more misunderstood. Les Cailles lets you in on Nuits' elegant side. As Burghound makes clear above, this balance is rare and beautiful and to be sought out.

Though it carries only 1er Cru distinction, make no mistake: When it comes to ageability, Les Cailles can hang with many Grand Crus.

Over the years, our appreciation for Chevillon has only deepened. With each older bottle we open, the impeccable winemaking becomes more and more apparent. A 1989 Cailles opened at dinner earlier this year was lavish and coating, but with simply thrilling finesse, energy, lift. Quality is running far ahead of cost at this house, but it's only a matter of time before pricing catches up.

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

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Burghound: "The most complex array of aromas to this point with an airy, elegant and classy nose brimming with violets, anise, earth and red currant notes that complement to perfection the rich, full-bodied, generous and round medium weight plus flavors that explode onto the hugely long and powerful finish. A wine that manages to pull off the rare feat of being at once imposing yet highly refined."