The Perennial Overperfomer:
A Perfectionist at Work
2011 Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin VV
If I had to pick one bottling from Denis Bachelet, it would be Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes.
Hopefully I'd never have to make such a painful choice.
Bachelet's tiny seven-bottling output has to be one of the most solidly consistent top-to-bottom collections of any winemaker in Burgundy. His Charmes is, for us, without a doubt the best Charmes out there, but considering both quality and value, I'd have to go with Gevrey VV.
The Gevrey VV is exceptional, in the greatest sense of the word. It's a villages-level wine that far transcends the category of basic Burgs. The quality at this level provides ample evidence of the perfectionism that animates this estate. There is a kinship with the elegant Charmes that is undeniable.
This helps to explain why even the most cherry-picking of collectors buy Bachelet's Gevrey every vintage. There are less than a handful of villages wines that command this sort of attention.
I've always loved Bachelet's Gevrey, but my conversion came a few years ago with a bottle of 1990 Gevrey VV. It was an unforgettable bottle: at two decades old, it was beautiful, astonishingly so.
The "Vieilles Vignes" designation isn't just for show. Average vines here are 60 to 70 years old, with the oldest dating back to 1932. The yields on these ancient vines are painfully low, but the sorting process on this 4-hectare estate is still rigorous: only the best for Bachelet.
This is rich, meaty Gevrey, with all the stunning soil-inspired complexity and bold intensity that entails.But for all its dark masculine fruit, there's a femininity that I've come to see as a Bachelet signature.
Over the past decade, few producers have delivered such consistent excellence as has Bachelet. He's notable for reining in the years of power, and for coaxing more intensity out of leaner years. In the elegant 2011, we see the latter at its finest.
Allen Meadows wrote about the 2011, "This is an entirely admirable villages and worth a look." And not just for a villages - Bachelet's Gevrey can run circles around many 1er Crus.
The only problem with this wine, as always, is quantity. Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best.
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Director, Fine and Rare
Crush Wine & Spirits
Burghound: "Here too there is a touch of wood spice to the compositionally similar if more complex nose. There is excellent underlying tension to the delicious and solidly complex flavors that possess very ripe if firm tannins that impart a slightly chewy texture to the serious but not particularly rustic finish. This is an entirely admirable villages and worth a look."