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Burgundy Wine Cellars

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Type
Red Wine

Domaine Marchand Freres Gevrey-Chambertin 'Vieilles Vignes' 2018

Appellation
Gevrey-Chambertin
Region
Côte de Nuits
Vintage
2018
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$88.00
 
SKU: EMFR02R-18
Overview

‘Vieilles Vignes’, old vines, have the advantage of keeping crop yields naturally low. And low crop yields mean ‘concentration’. Here we get that concentration in a Gevrey-Chambertin ‘village’ made from two contiguous ‘lieux dits’ (Pressonniers and Fourneaux) which are situated below the line of the Grand Cru to the west of the Combe Lavaux. We are talking about a classic Gevrey village spot, similar to the vineyard ‘Aux Etelois’ that is just across the way. This is Gevrey-Chambertin as we like it best.

 

Producer

DOMAINE MARCHAND FRERES

The Domaine Marchand Freres has been in existence since 1813 through seven generations, and for most of that time it was based in Morey-St. Denis. In 1983, however, the domain bought a winemaker’s house in the very center of Gevrey-Chambertin, ostensibly for the beautiful working cellars underneath. But Gevrey gradually became the seat of the business, and today Denis Marchand lives in the beautifully restored house and receives guests in the cellars below.

The domain has small parcels in some very important vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-Saint-Denis and Gevrey-Chambertin, including premier cru ‘Les Sentiers’ in Chambolle, ‘Le Clos des Ormes’ in Morey and ‘Les Combottes’ in Gevrey. They also have holdings in Grand Cru Clos de la Roche, Griottes-Chambertin and Charmes Chambertin. But production is tiny, 1000 cases here, a few hundred there, mere dozens in the Grands Crus. Marchand Freres is the quintessential Burgundy domain: small production, high quality.

Vintage

BURGUNDY 2018 VINTAGE

There has been talk over the past year of the 2018 vintage in Burgundy being one of the greatest of all time.  Comparisons with the mythical 1947, and all that.  But let’s be careful and take a closer look.

We’ve tasted some marvelous wines, both white and red, and from all of the appellation levels.  Purity and concentration would be the key words across the board.

But lest we forget, 2018 was the hottest vintage in Burgundy since 2003.  And frankly, we were expecting wines like we got in 2003: flabby whites and Cote du Rhone-like reds.  But that did not happen.  And the secret to understanding 2018 Burgundy lies in understanding the difference between these two very hot years.

If you look at 2018 from start to finish, not only was it hot, it was dry: 50% less precipitation than the annual average over the past 30 years. However, if you were here in the early part of the year, you’ll certainly remember the rain. ​

After a very dry summer in 2017, winter 2017-18 was wet. It rained nearly every day through March and into April.  And the vine was slow to bud.

That all changed in the middle of April. Wet soil and higher temperatures brought on explosive growth in the vineyards that the vignerons had a tough time keeping up with.  In a week we went from bud burst to unfurled leaves.

The first flowers burst in mid-May. The crop set regularly with very little disruption, and summer settled in. The early wet conditions followed by April’s warmth saw the onset of mildew, but the fungus never stood a chance.

It was a hot and sunny summer. Some would say it was a heat wave and a drought. And we started to see signs of stress in vineyards in certain sectors. Things were better where there was a little rain.  But August was bone dry. In fact, there was no rain from June 15th to the end of October.

It was about this time that comparisons to 2015 cropped up. You could see ripeness rapidly approaching, and there was talk of harvest starting at the end of August.

The vines were incredibly healthy; no moisture means no threat from mildew or odium. No rot.  Good ripeness.  ​

And, for the first time since 2009….a normal yield! So, let the harvest begin!

And it did, in the last days of August.  What was most astonishing right from the start was that the perceived acidity levels seem OK.  Granted, there’s no malic acid, but the levels of tartaric acid seem to be compensating, and there is an over-all impression of balance. 

Also amazing was the amount of juice the crop produced.  Not only was the yield bigger than the past 10 years’ average, but the amount of juice set a record for Burgundy.  So there will be a lot of 2018 around.

And all this in a year that felt more like the south of Spain than Burgundy as we know it.  The only thing we can attribute the quality of 2018 to is the abundant winter rains, and the vine’s ability to go searching for water when it needs it.

Appellation

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN

COTE DE NUITS

The vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin swirl around the mouth of the Combe de Lavaux, a cleft in the hillside that has been eroding limestone slurry into the plains around the village of Gevrey for a geological epoch. Few appellations in Burgundy break down so neatly into zones: north of the combe lie most of the premier cru vineyards. The 9 grand cru vineyards are on the other side of the combe to the south. There are some good premiers crus in this sector as well, but they tend to be on the edges of the grands crus. Logically then, there are several different zones of village wine production, some very interesting, some (especially to the east) not.

Produced in the communes of Gevrey-Chambertin and Brochon, the appellation Gevrey-Chambertin includes 26 premiers crus. The commune of Gevrey-Chambertin also produces 9 grands crus.

Wines

In youth Gevrey-Chambertin is usually a bright ruby color, turning more black cherry with age. Strawberry and cherry fruits, violet and rose floral notes are common in the early days. Maturity brings out liquorice, leather and fur and hints of that Pinot underbrush. Youthful firm structure gives way to velvety tannins and delicate texture. Gevrey is what great burgundy should be: powerful, rich, and meaty. They can often be when drunk young to appreciate the fruit, but really these are wines for aging, often for long periods.

Terroirs

The grands crus sit on the eddys of the combe , with thin soils on crinoidal limestone; while most of the premiers crus occupy the upper portion of the Côte at heights of between 280 and 380 meters on shallow red limestone soils. Below them are the village appellation vines on brown limey soils. There are also marls covered with screes and red silt that have washed down from above the combe. These stony mixtures can produce elegant wine while the clayey marls, which contain rich deposits of fossilized shell-fish, add body and firmness. Exposures vary from east to south-east.

Color

Red wines only - Pinot Noir

Production surface area

1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres

409.65 ha (including 80.46 ha premier cru)

Food

Massive yet velvety, the wines of Gevrey-Chambertin should show power and structure, and should age admirably. This is a wine for meat-eaters. As it evolves, its gamey notes becomes a match for game, feathered or furred. It also goes superbly with rib steak, lamb, and fibrous meats, that need marinating or braising. It goes well with all the Burgundian strong cow-milk cheeses, in particular Époisses and Ami du Chambertin, and of course with the creamy purity of a Cîteaux.

Appellations

On the label, the appellations Gevrey-Chambertin and Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru may be followed by the name of the specific vineyard, known as a climat.

The following climats are classified as premier cru:

Au Closeau

Aux Combottes

Bel Air

Champeaux

Champonnet

Cherbaudes

Clos des Varoilles

Clos du Chapitre

Clos Prieur

Clos Saint-Jacques

Combe au Moine

Craipillot

En Ergot

Estournelles-Saint-Jacques

Fonteny

Issarts

La Bossière

La Perrière

La Romanée

Lavaut Saint-Jacques

Les Cazetiers

Les Corbeaux

Les Goulots

Petite Chapelle

Petits Cazetiers

Poissenot

The following climats are village wines from a single vineyard, known as a lieu-dit:

Lieux-dits

Au Prunier

Au Vellé

Aux Corvées

Aux Echezeaux

Aux Etelois

Baraques

Billard

Carougeot

Champ

Champ Franc

Champerrier du Bas

Champerrier du Dessus

Champs-Chenys

Charreux

Chazière

Chéseaux

Clos Prieur-Bas

Combe de Lavaux

Combes du Bas

Combes du Dessus

Craite-Paille

Creux Brouillard

Croix des Champs

En Champs

En Dérée

En Pallud

En Songe

En Vosne

Es Murots

Grandes Rayes

Grands Champs

Jouise

La Bossière

La Brunelle

La Burie

La Justice

La Marie

La Nouroy

La Platière

Le Carré Rougeaud

Le Créot

Le Fourneau

Les Cercueils

Les Champs Perriers

Les Crais

Les Croisettes

Les Epointures

Les Evocelles

Les Gueulepines

Les Jeunes Rois

Les Journaux

Les Marchais

Les Seuvrées

Meix des Ouches

Meix-Bas

Mévelle

Pince-Vin

Pressonnier

Puits de la Baraque

Reniard

Roncevie

Sylvie

Tamisot

Vignes Belles

Village

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