Domaine Bachelet Cote de Nuits-Villages 2015/18

$125.00
Sale price

Regular price $125.00

Here too there is a deft touch of wood surrounding the earthier and more sauvage-inflected aromas of black cherry and raspberry. The fleshy and delicious medium-bodied flavors possess a relatively refined mouthfeel thanks to the fine grained tannins shaping the sneaky long finale. Lovely.

– Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, Score: 88-91

The Producer

Denis Bachelet, Domaine Bachelet in Gevrey-Chambertin.


hree decades ago Domaine Bachelet in Gevrey-Chambertin was a tiny estate. Since then it has more than doubled in size, but with its 4.3 hectares it is still small.

– When I was 16 years old my father asked me if I wanted to become a winemaker, says Denis Bachelet. ”Why not?” I said. I arrived at the wine school in Beaune with a Belgian accent. After three years of studies I started working at the domaine.

Denis Bachelet’s father had decided not to continue with the family tradition of making wine in Gevrey-Chambertin. Instead he chose Belgium and the chemical industry in the 1960’s.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy.– My grandmother was very pleased to see me return to Burgundy and the domaine, says Denis Bachelet. I would consult her up until two years ago, when she passed away, 97 years old.

When Denis Bachelet took on the domaine in 1983 it covered just 1.8 hectares. Not much, but what there was, was prime land – grand cru in Charmes-Chambertin, a bit of Gevrey-Chambertin on both village and premier cru level and one parcel in the regional Bourgogne appellation. All planted with old vines.

But since his grandparents had retired in 1973 everything had to be built up from scratch again. There was no cellar, no equipment.

– The beginning was really difficult, says Denis Bachelet. It was difficult to make a living off 1.8 hectares, so it was important to buy more vines quickly. I was lucky to meet Becky Wasserman at Le Serbet just when she started exporting wine from Burgundy. Wednesday afternoons after school I would bring my very first samples of my wines to her for tasting. She would introduce my wines to people like Clive Coates, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy.The most recent acquisitions were in 2011 when more Côte de Nuits-Villages and Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles were added to the domaine.

– There is not much available, says Denis Bachelet. So when there is, you have to have the information before your neighbours. You have to move fast and you can’t be choosy. For Les Evocelles I received a phone call at 4 pm. At 5 pm I had bought the parcel.

– My son Nicolas joined me in 2008, so we needed some more land. We might grow a bit more, but not much.

Les Evocelles is located in Brochon, the village immediately to the north of Gevrey-Chambertin. Roughly half of Brochon is entitled to the Gevrey-Chambertin. The rest is Côte de Nuits-Villages. In old French evocelles means quarry; the lieu-dit itself is at the top of the slope, bordering on the Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru Champeaux.

Domaine Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin.While Les Evocelles is bottled separately there is also the Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, a blend of several parcels around Gevrey-Chambertin. The average age of the vines is high, between 75 and 80 years.

– We replace dead vines every year, explains Denis Bachelet. For the whole domaine it is about 600 vines every year. We try to keep the old vines as long as possible. The grapes they produce are very small. It is the same every year.

– For the vieilles vignes cuvée a large part comes from En Dérée, north of the village. Then there are also vines in Sylvie, Les Jeunes Rois, La Burie and La Justice. En Dérée has lighter soil. La Burie has a bit more clay and La Justice more sand. Depending on the weather conditions different parcels are the best in different vintages. If it is dry La Justice is difficult, because it drains too quickly. On the other hand, with more rain you always have lots of success there. You need to have different types of soil in order to have a balanced cuvée.

Les Corbeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin.Les Corbeaux, the Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru, is just outside the village, on the south side where all the grand crus are located. Domaine Bachelet have three parcels here, two of which are at the top.

– Les Corbeaux is right next to Mazis-Chambertin. Just above Les Corbeaux you have the premier cru Fonteny, which in old French means spring. In the past there was a small stream there, but it has been drained since. There is still water in the ground, which in dry years like 2005 can be very helpful for the vines and you can make great wines under these conditions. In wetter years you have to be careful.

On grand cru level there is 0.433 hectares of Charmes-Chambertin. The whole of Charmes-Chambertin covers 28.97 hectares. At Domaine Bachelet the Charmes-Chambertin sees one third new oak, one third of barrels used previously for one wine and one third used for two wines. This is the same for the premier cru and the Gevrey-Chambertin village wines. The Côte de Nuits-Villages only sees one quarter of new oak.

– We have two parcels of Charmes-Chambertin. One where we have Bernard Dugat, Claude Dugat and Perrot-Minot as neighbours and one where we have Roty and Raphet as neighbours. It is the best part of Charmes-Chambertin. Right between the two villages, Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey-Saint-Denis, you have a small hill, we are just on top of that.

Denis Bachelet, Domaine Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin.At Domaine Bachelet the work is conducted along the lines of lutte raisonnée, sustainable viticulture.

– Just after the vinification we do the first pruning, says Denis Bachelet. We keep only two canes. We plough the soil with the tractor. Partly to put the soil up against the vines in order to protect them from the cold during the winter and partly in order to cut off the roots closest to the surface. If you cut the top roots you force the vines to use the deep roots, which bring the maximum out of the soil for the grapes.

Both concrete and stainless steel vats are used at the domaine. There is a cold maceration for three to six days, depending on the vintage.

– Sometimes we use some dry ice to protect the top of the juice, says Denis Bachelet. When the fermentation has started we control the temperature, max 32-33°C. After six days of fermentation, followed by three or four days of rest we press using a pneumatic press. When the juice is in the barrels we immediately cool it to 13°C. By doing this the malolactic fermentation will not start until the following summer.

– We like to have the malolactic fermentation as late as possible. In May, June or July. In some cases even in August. By doing that you keep a high level of CO2 all the way until the bottling and it preserves the freshness of the wine.

© 2013 Ola Bergman

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

Here too there is a deft touch of wood surrounding the earthier and more sauvage-inflected aromas of black cherry and raspberry. The fleshy and delicious medium-bodied flavors possess a relatively refined mouthfeel thanks to the fine grained tannins shaping the sneaky long finale. Lovely.

– Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, Score: 88-91

The Producer

Denis Bachelet, Domaine Bachelet in Gevrey-Chambertin.


hree decades ago Domaine Bachelet in Gevrey-Chambertin was a tiny estate. Since then it has more than doubled in size, but with its 4.3 hectares it is still small.

– When I was 16 years old my father asked me if I wanted to become a winemaker, says Denis Bachelet. ”Why not?” I said. I arrived at the wine school in Beaune with a Belgian accent. After three years of studies I started working at the domaine.

Denis Bachelet’s father had decided not to continue with the family tradition of making wine in Gevrey-Chambertin. Instead he chose Belgium and the chemical industry in the 1960’s.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy.– My grandmother was very pleased to see me return to Burgundy and the domaine, says Denis Bachelet. I would consult her up until two years ago, when she passed away, 97 years old.

When Denis Bachelet took on the domaine in 1983 it covered just 1.8 hectares. Not much, but what there was, was prime land – grand cru in Charmes-Chambertin, a bit of Gevrey-Chambertin on both village and premier cru level and one parcel in the regional Bourgogne appellation. All planted with old vines.

But since his grandparents had retired in 1973 everything had to be built up from scratch again. There was no cellar, no equipment.

– The beginning was really difficult, says Denis Bachelet. It was difficult to make a living off 1.8 hectares, so it was important to buy more vines quickly. I was lucky to meet Becky Wasserman at Le Serbet just when she started exporting wine from Burgundy. Wednesday afternoons after school I would bring my very first samples of my wines to her for tasting. She would introduce my wines to people like Clive Coates, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.

Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy.The most recent acquisitions were in 2011 when more Côte de Nuits-Villages and Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles were added to the domaine.

– There is not much available, says Denis Bachelet. So when there is, you have to have the information before your neighbours. You have to move fast and you can’t be choosy. For Les Evocelles I received a phone call at 4 pm. At 5 pm I had bought the parcel.

– My son Nicolas joined me in 2008, so we needed some more land. We might grow a bit more, but not much.

Les Evocelles is located in Brochon, the village immediately to the north of Gevrey-Chambertin. Roughly half of Brochon is entitled to the Gevrey-Chambertin. The rest is Côte de Nuits-Villages. In old French evocelles means quarry; the lieu-dit itself is at the top of the slope, bordering on the Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru Champeaux.

Domaine Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin.While Les Evocelles is bottled separately there is also the Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, a blend of several parcels around Gevrey-Chambertin. The average age of the vines is high, between 75 and 80 years.

– We replace dead vines every year, explains Denis Bachelet. For the whole domaine it is about 600 vines every year. We try to keep the old vines as long as possible. The grapes they produce are very small. It is the same every year.

– For the vieilles vignes cuvée a large part comes from En Dérée, north of the village. Then there are also vines in Sylvie, Les Jeunes Rois, La Burie and La Justice. En Dérée has lighter soil. La Burie has a bit more clay and La Justice more sand. Depending on the weather conditions different parcels are the best in different vintages. If it is dry La Justice is difficult, because it drains too quickly. On the other hand, with more rain you always have lots of success there. You need to have different types of soil in order to have a balanced cuvée.

Les Corbeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin.Les Corbeaux, the Gevrey-Chambertin premier cru, is just outside the village, on the south side where all the grand crus are located. Domaine Bachelet have three parcels here, two of which are at the top.

– Les Corbeaux is right next to Mazis-Chambertin. Just above Les Corbeaux you have the premier cru Fonteny, which in old French means spring. In the past there was a small stream there, but it has been drained since. There is still water in the ground, which in dry years like 2005 can be very helpful for the vines and you can make great wines under these conditions. In wetter years you have to be careful.

On grand cru level there is 0.433 hectares of Charmes-Chambertin. The whole of Charmes-Chambertin covers 28.97 hectares. At Domaine Bachelet the Charmes-Chambertin sees one third new oak, one third of barrels used previously for one wine and one third used for two wines. This is the same for the premier cru and the Gevrey-Chambertin village wines. The Côte de Nuits-Villages only sees one quarter of new oak.

– We have two parcels of Charmes-Chambertin. One where we have Bernard Dugat, Claude Dugat and Perrot-Minot as neighbours and one where we have Roty and Raphet as neighbours. It is the best part of Charmes-Chambertin. Right between the two villages, Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey-Saint-Denis, you have a small hill, we are just on top of that.

Denis Bachelet, Domaine Bachelet, Gevrey-Chambertin.At Domaine Bachelet the work is conducted along the lines of lutte raisonnée, sustainable viticulture.

– Just after the vinification we do the first pruning, says Denis Bachelet. We keep only two canes. We plough the soil with the tractor. Partly to put the soil up against the vines in order to protect them from the cold during the winter and partly in order to cut off the roots closest to the surface. If you cut the top roots you force the vines to use the deep roots, which bring the maximum out of the soil for the grapes.

Both concrete and stainless steel vats are used at the domaine. There is a cold maceration for three to six days, depending on the vintage.

– Sometimes we use some dry ice to protect the top of the juice, says Denis Bachelet. When the fermentation has started we control the temperature, max 32-33°C. After six days of fermentation, followed by three or four days of rest we press using a pneumatic press. When the juice is in the barrels we immediately cool it to 13°C. By doing this the malolactic fermentation will not start until the following summer.

– We like to have the malolactic fermentation as late as possible. In May, June or July. In some cases even in August. By doing that you keep a high level of CO2 all the way until the bottling and it preserves the freshness of the wine.

© 2013 Ola Bergman

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.