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2016 Jerome Chezeaux: A Bang for your Buck in the Cotes de Nuits!

2016 Jerome Chezeaux: A Bang for your Buck in the Cotes de Nuits!

2016 Jerome Chezeaux

The first thing one should know about this incredible winery is that it comes from the distributor Neal Rosenthal. That alone is a selling point, strong enough to encourage anyone. Secondly, check out the prices and the real estate. With 2016 being a monumental vintage, the prices are reflective. Yet here we have incredible wines that are still "reasonable––" a relative term for sure! 

This is a minuscule winery, unheard of by most. I have had had them on my radar for some years now, but started to notice how exceptional and amazingly priced they were in the last vintage of 2015. It was one of those wines that I couldn't believe has never really danced circles in my Burgundy forums. I mean look at the names of the sites they have....and the prices? Vosne Romanee premier cru for under $100 is like Trump not using Twitter.  Additionally, like all others in the Rosenthal portfolio, these are sleek, ethereal and earth driven. A surprise secret for the cellar in 10 years when they will eventually be sought after in much greater form.

Jérôme’s style is quite difficult to pin down, and in fact even to call it a “style” suggests a certain presence of ego that is adamantly not there. Always fully ripe, his wines nonetheless never display a wisp of flab or surmaturité even in the warmest of vintages; they offer the distinct impression that the grapes were harvested at the most exactly perfect possible moment. They are graceful yet not exactly polite, always thoroughly extracted but never pushed. Jérôme allows the Pinot Noir’s innate silkiness to carry the day, without that “buffed to a shine” impression that occasionally accompanies Burgundies to which the adjective “elegant” is readily applied. And, again even in the ripest years, they carry an acidity which is noble and true, never masked by undue richness and always lending the fruit mouthwatering crunch. Certainly, Jérôme’s cellar practices serve to enhance this sense of purity: fully de-stemming his crop; fermenting naturally, with malolactic occurring in barrel; racking only once during the élevage; and employing exceedingly modest levels of new oak, from 10% on the villages wines to 30% for the VaucrainsSuchots, and Clos de Vougeot. But, as with all great Burgundy, the explanation for their singular character resides in that magical, irreducible interzone of man, land, and process. All in all, Chezeaux’s are wines utterly devoid of pretense yet riveting in their precise articulation of site and vintage—and they only keep getting better.

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2016 Jerome Chezeaux Bourgogne Rouge
Original Price: $31.99
Sale Price $28.99
Jérôme’s exemplary Bourgogne Rouge comes from a smattering of parcels in Premeaux-Prissey and Nuits-Saint-Georges totaling 2.8 hectares. A wonderful representative of both the house style and the classic character of Nuits-Saint-Georges and environs, it emphasizes fresh, lively fruit buttressed by firm minerality and a dusty spice element. This is a sleek Bourgogne Rouge unencumbered by oak influence, as Chezeaux employs no new barrels in its élevage. Sadly, the late-April frost reduced yields here by 80%.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges
Original Price: $57.99
Sale Price $51.99
Chezeaux’s holdings of villages-level Nuits-Saint-Georges encompass 3.3 hectares spread throughout the appellation, with a significant proportion from the vineyards of Aux Saint Julien and Chaliots. In keeping with the spirit of the underlying terroir, this is wilder in character than the Vosne-Romanée above—marked by notes of iron, and with a subtle rowdiness to its tannins. Never deficient in fruit, it offers plenty of earth and sous-bois elements as well, all in an invigoratingly driving fashion. Production of this cuvée suffered a staggering 90% loss in 2016 due to frost.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges “Les Charbonnières – VV”
Original Price: $63.99
Sale Price $56.99
With the 2011 vintage, Jérôme began separating out his oldest villages-level parcel—a 0.67-hectare holding of 80-year-old vines in Les Charbonnières, situated just below the premier cru Aux Corvées on the slope in the appellation’s southern sector. Boasting true old-vines power, this is always more thickly fruited and more exuberantly spicy than its counterpart above, with greater generosity and length. Its lusciousness, however, does nothing to mask the underlying complexity that sets this cuvée apart. Unfortunately, Jérôme produced only five of his usual fifteen barrels in 2016 due to the late-April frost.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Aux Boudots
Original Price: $79.99
Sale Price $73.99
Always a standout in Chezeaux’s cellar, Aux Boudots is perched at the northern limit of Nuits-Saint-Georges, on the border of Vosne-Romanée. As one might expect given its location, this wine combines classically Nuits-Saint-Georges iron and sous-bois with fruit a bit more caressing and Vosne-Romanée-like than its more southerly situated counterparts. Chezeaux owns a very small 0.34-hectare parcel in this steeply sloping premier cru.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains
Original Price: $79.99
Sale Price $74.99
Nuits-Saint-Georges famously possesses no grand cru vineyards, but Les Vaucrains is widely considered one in all but name. Always the most complete of Chezeaux’s premier crus, Vaucrainsrumbles with tension—an authoritative wine that exudes an impression of depth and solidity. Here, the fruit, mineral, and savory elements bind together more tightly, more seamlessly. Jérôme owns just over a quarter-hectare of east-facing vines in Vaucrains, and his conservative oak regimen—never more than one-third of the barrels are new—allows one to admire the power of theterroir with great clarity.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Rue de Chaux”
Original Price: $76.99
Sale Price $70.99
Located almost dead-center in the appellation, Rue de Chaux is perhaps the most quintessentially “Nuits-Saint-Georges” among Chezeaux’s premier crus. Jerome owns a mere 0.29 hectares in this steep, topsoil-deficient vineyard, and his ever-elegant touch yields a wine of both grace and power. Darkly fruited, dense, and ever-so-slightly brooding, it also offers an enchanting savory-spicy perfume.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers (Extremely Limited)
Original Price: $81.99
Sale Price $77.99
The smallest-production premier cru in Chezeaux’s cellar, Les Pruliers lies near the border of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Premeaux-Prissey in the southern part of the appellation. Jerome works a mere tenth of a hectare here—a parcel of extremely old vines that produce a wine of warmth and generosity. More full-bodied than the Rue de Chaux above, its fruit is pitched toward the deep-purple and the black, and, while not heavy-handed in the slightest, it emphasizes robustness over sleekness.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Vosne Romanee
Original Price: $63.99
Sale Price $56.99
Chezeaux owns a half-hectare’s worth of villages-level Vosne-Romanée, spread among three lieux-ditsAux RéasBossières, and Mezière. His remarkably deft, light touch allows that classic Vosne-Romanée spice and silk to shine through brilliantly, its dark, seductive fruit contrasting the gutsier, more forcefully mineral carriage of its Nuits-Saint-Georges cousins. In 2016, Jérôme produced only 10% of his normal quantity here due to the frost.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes
Original Price: $82.99
Sale Price $78.99
Les Chaumes lies at the southern edge of Vosne-Romanée, immediately below the hallowed premier cru Aux Malconsorts and the Grand Cru La Tache on a vein of limestone and marl. Chezeaux owns four-tenths of a hectare here, producing a wine that marries the exotic spice and succulent fruit of Vosne-Romanée with the mineral force of Nuits-Saint-Georges in hugely appealing fashion.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Suchots (extremely limited)
Original Price: $139.99
Sale Price $129.99
With grand crus Romanée-Saint-Vivant and Richebourg right next door, premier cru Les Suchots lies in one of the most elite neighborhoods in the Cote d’Or. Chezeaux owns a third of a hectare here, and this is often the greatest wine in his cellar. A tsunami of swoon-worthy Vosne spice ushers in fruit both impressively broad and sumptuously precise, yet somehow everything remains focused and fine—a tour de force, vintage after vintage.

2016 Jerome Chezeaux Clos des Vougeot Grand Cru (extremely limited)
Original Price: $154.99
Sale Price $144.99
Chezeaux owns a 0.17-hectare sliver of this outsized grand cru, in the prime sector just above and next to the castle. From these old vines, Jérôme produces a wine that does justice to the immense power and complexity this site is capable of at its best. Rivetingly wild, gamy, and structured, it presents a forceful, iron-dominated mineral core flanked by dark fruit and shot through with muscular tannins. Always the most impenetrable wine in the cellar in its youth, it demands significant cellaring but pays enormous dividends in time.
Artículo anterior Arrival of 2017 Xavier Gerard Cote Rotie