2012 Gevrey Chambertin does not suck

By Panos Kakaviatos

Sorry for the flippant title. But after I heard that prices for the lowly Bourgogne Passetousgrains will likely increase by about 25% on average in 2012… And that the more prestigious appellations will have wallet shattering price tags, I felt rather blasé about tasting scores of Gevrey Chambertins from this fine vintage. Yes, 2012 is a fine vintage. But quantities will be low. And prices high. So why not seek olde vintages that could be ready sooner? These 12s were certainly opulent but more often than not foreboding and somewhat tannic. Made from small grapes with thick skins, lots of concentration. Acidity was quite normal remarked expert taster Bernard Burtschy, who writes for Le Figaro. The luscious factor was there, but not like 2009. Long termers. I would say the village Gevreys were particularly tannic and sometimes even brawny. As you went up the totem pole, the precision and smoothness increased. Depending on the styles – I disliked some drying tannins and oak derivations with some – the higher echelons were rather terrific, and wines that were great to taste but, for the most part, wines I will not purchase since the prices will be terrific as well…

Here you go, some raw notes as tasted earlier this evening, with little editing. Because it is late and I am tired.

All are 2012s

Village level

Dom Marchand
lovely and sap filled

Dom Trapet
Lovely earth. A touch austere. Tannic dry on finish? Alcohol and oak?

Dom Francois Trapet Les Carougeots
More purple. Flavor more focused here? Somewhat extracted feel.

Serafin VV quite purple.
This is more like it. More sap. Nose is more intense. Has character.

Gerard Seguin Les Crais
More sap on the nose more sap.
I like this most so far. Brighter. Less drying.

Marc Roy Clos Prieur
more animal here. Protein. Yet appealing. Musk. Palate is quite tannic. Good structure w sap in mid palate. Serious.

Marc Roy VV
a touch more depth and yet slightly rustic

Marc Roy La Justice.
Here we have some alcohol showing through and some rusticity

Dom Thierry Mortet
matchstick quite a bit of substance, foreboding. Touch of positive austerity on finish juicy enough mid palate.

Mortet Vigne Belle
a bit dilute by comparison.

Sylvie Esmonin VV
rich and dark fruit on palate. Med up concentration is the oak showing on finish a bit of heat

Rene Bouvier Racine du Temps
racy and rather pure w no hard edges. Very tasty and sap filled: smooth. Somewhat heady but long

Same Les Jeunes Rois.
Quite refined if a touch alcoholic. Intense dark fruit flavor. Somewhat drying?


Rene Leclerc Lavaux St Jacques
floral notes fruit dark and musk, lovely. Palate is juicy perhaps a touch over linear? Somewhat flattened finish, alcohol?

Same / Les Champeaux.
A bit more drying and alcoholic?

Bruno Clair Clos Saint Jacques.
Intense and delicious

Bruno Clair Clos du Fonteny Monopol
more violet. Extraction?
Strawberry liquer.

Dom des Varoilles La Romanee VV
Vanilla and dark fruit. Refined.

Heresztyn Mazzini Les Goulots.
Rather average. Decent clean nose but palate does not follow through.

Michel Magnien Cazetiers
this is fluid linear and quite pleasing floral aromatics. Touch light finish?

Dom Berthaud Cazetiers
Good sap, rich although attack is foreboding. Ends with fine sap.

Dom Maume Champeaux.
Like this masculine focused like a Roman legionnaire

Dom Marsannay Champeaux
like the above a touch more foreboding aven a bit dry on finish? Attack is great however. Striking. Reductive.

Dom Varoilles Clos des Varoilles VV
Velvet seduction and smoother than the Romanee.

Tortochot Lavaux St Jacques
reduced nose. Shows a svelte palate with substance, layers mid palate. Linear finish. Touch warm?

Pierre Naigeon LSJ
lovely and balanced. A bit less complex than preceding?

Denis Mortet LSJ
very nice and smooth. Reductive nose but lovely palate dense and smooth.

Dom Maume LSJ
less reduced, floral. Fine sap. Not as surprising as preceding wine but very good.


Philippe Charlopin Charmes
A bit airy. Light and tepid.

Varoilles Charmes
Dense and dark and quite full bodied

Henri Richard Charmes
Nougat. Sweet side lacks a bit of vibrancy?

Humbert Freres Charmes
lovely and balanced.

Perrot-Minot Charmes
very pure, quite mineral. Savory. Fresh finish.

Jean Philippe Marchand.
Spice and protein rich and savory. Delicious! Sap filled finish.,

Same producer but Mazoyeres Chambertin
a bit more iron? Power like Hermitage but still fresh. Nicely integrated oak here.


just goes to show grand Cru difference. Herbal and ripe.

Rossignol Trapet
real verve and legionnaire power. Great. Spice nutmeg clove not tooty fruity but complex and smooth with gravitas both on nose and palate., Among the very best.

Pierre Damoy
oaky uninteresting

Ch Marsannay Ruchottes
savory yet a bit drying. Oak?

Mazis Jean Michel Guillon
Wow! This is lovely. Deep, earthy floral and musk like. Fine sap, mid palate prominence.

Tortochot Mazis
another more animal driven pure earthy fresh flavored grand Cru. Delicious and rich

Mazis Harmand Geoffroy
concentrated and smooth., with poise and edge. Austerity on finish.

Guillon Mazis
delicious sap and freshness!

Damoy Chapelle Chambertin
better that Chambertin. Fresher.

Chapelle Chambertin Rossignol Trapet
verve energy and power.,in a word delicious.,

Clos de Beze Bruno Claire tasted again
terrific balance between density and elegance.

Clos de Beze Pierre Glenn
was a bit drying

Philippe Livera Chapelle Chambertin
a bit drying. Nose good. But the 100 percent oak is evident here

Dom Cecile Tremblay 100 percent stem …
Quite drying on finish. Not sure about it but with time?

Her husband has diagonal label and I hated his Charmes but this Mazis Philippe Charlopin is meaty and substantial without being too meaty. Rather smooth and indeed charming. Iron tinged finish.

Cote Rotie guests brought some 2012s and not so easy to taste after the Pinots…

Terres Sombres Yves Cuilleron a Chavanay.
Closed nose? Pepper ferocity compared to Pinot Noir.

JM Gerin.
Superior nose, more animal. Slight Brett? Could imagine some beef with this. Polish exists on smooth finish.

La Barbarine.
A bit more steely. Pepper. Austere on palate not as much juice.

Le Gallet Blanc Francois Villard.
13% More sap and juice but slight drying

Over dinner later Monsieur Nicolas Rossignol said that in 1996 “we could have waited longer” and that 2002 is a more “complete version” of 1996 and that 1999 was warmer.

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