They say good things come in small packages, perhaps this should be rephrased to good things come from small parcels. From humble beginnings of just 1.8 hectares, Denis Bachelet comprises just over 4 hectares of vines, yet is renowned for producing some of the finest wines from Burgundy.
The cellars in Gevery-Chambertin have been run by Denis since he was a teenager, producing his first vintage in 1981. Consulting his grandmother until very recently, he conducts a traditional approach to winemaking, using only natural yeasts and bottling without fining or filtration. During harvest any fruit that is not perfect is discarded. Vine age is old, averaging 75-80 years, but dating back 1907 in some cases - as a result of which yields are extremely small.
Malolactic fermentation takes place as late as possible, as Denis believes this preserves the freshness of the wine, with maturation in up to 35% new oak for the Premier and Grand Crus. After a total of 15-18 months, the wine is hand bottled. These are elegant and extremely fine wines.
A town in the Côte de Nuits producing some of Burgundy's most renowned red wines. With 400ha of vineyard area this is the largest wine-producing region in the Côte d'Or. Gevrey-Chambertin's wines are typically some of the sturdiest in the Côte de Nuits, certainly bigger and heavier than those of close neighbours Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny. As such the best examples require a longer bottle-ageing to show at their best, however whilst the best examples rate as highly as those of Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny, being a large commune there are all too many disappointing wines that lack the ripeness structure and power they should have. Fortunately there are a number of top class growers making Gevrey, including Armand Rousseau, Denis Mortet, Bruno Clair, Drouhin-Laroze, Trapet, Rossignol-Trapet, and Denis Bachelet.
Gevrey also boasts eight grands crus, perhaps too many!, the finest of which are Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. Whilst it is questionable whether some of these are worthy of their Grand Cru status, Gevrey also boasts two Premiers Crus, the region's best, considered worthy of elevation to Grand Cru status. These are Les Cazetiers and Clos St-Jacques, a particularly fine bottling of the latter is produced by Domaine Armand Rousseau, who charge more for their Clos St-Jacques than for several of their other Grands Crus.