Gevrey-Chambertin brings out the best in me: It’s impossible not to fall victim to the charm of an ancient village undergirded by weathered stone, old vines, and generations’ worth of masterful winemakers. The wines here capture all this and more, but the very best—especially those that have tacked on age—leave lasting impressions that few others can. That’s where last year’s visit with Laurent Rochelandet of Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet comes in.
Shaking hands with the young and buoyant Laurent and tasting today’s brilliant 2013 made me realize there is genuine value to be found in this historic region. But nothing compared to what I was about to learn: After inquiring about the location of “Les Carougeots,” he flashed a wide grin and motioned towards the nine contiguous Grand Crus of Gevrey. Turns out, today’s special lieu-dit is nestled next to a handful of top Gevrey’s Premier Crus and a (very) short walk to Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin. Clearly, the choice was a no-brainer—a wine as good as this, made from a brilliant undercover terroir, had to be purchased. Our subscribership has exclusive access to this limited gem so take what you can and prepare to be exponentially floored as it keeps tacking on age. I liken today’s developing Gevrey-Chambertin as a prince next in line to the throne: There’s no denying its blue-blooded nobility!
The accumulation of Gevrey-Chambertin sites from Laurent’s mother’s and the now-defunct Domaine François Trapet laid the groundwork for the 2008 creation of today’s tiny family estate. Don’t, however, mistake their juvenescence for a lack of skill or experience: The Trapet name runs deep in Burgundy and the Rochelandet family has been steeped in vines for generations. With just under seven hectares to their name, Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet produces 10 unique labels, so if you’re looking for any of their wines in large quantities, especially today’s “Les Carougeots,” we have two words for you: tough luck.
Despite today’s 2013 marking Laurent’s sixth vintage, the practices in place are what you’d expect to find at a centuries-old domaine purely focused on tradition. Laurent’s parcel in “Les Carougeots” amounts to less than one hectare, but a lack of real estate doesn’t mean he squeezes everything he can from his small cluster of vines—quite the opposite. These vines are farmed sustainably, with an eye heavily focused on biodiversity, and hand-harvested yields are extremely low—more so than what is required for Grand Crus.
In the winery, it’s all natural: No yeasts or enzymes are added during long fermentations and only neutral French barrels, courtesy of Domaine Philippe Leclerc just down the street, are used during the wine’s upbringing. After two years in the cellar, the wines are typically released to the public, though today’s batch didn’t leave until 2019 was well underway.
As mentioned above, this wine is still a prince, but its countdown to the throne is nearly at zero. Even still, it’s perfectly ready to drink today if you have enough patience to decant at least 60 minutes. Further, I highly recommend you polish your largest Burgundy stems, too (if you have yet to purchase a set, this 2013 “Les Carougeots” should be your motivating force). Given enough time, the wine releases gorgeous aromas of black cherry, raspberry, and firm red plum, but the fruit is only a supporting character here: loose tea leaves, leather, forest flora, moss, and subtle hints of spice lead an earth-dominated charge. The structure of Gevrey is loud and clear, but there’s no shortage of delicate, soft-fruited notes that balance rugged with royalty. Though a real pleasure to experience now, I think this wine’s true drinking window will open around its seventh or eighth birthday and won’t even consider shutting down until 2030. What a wine, what a value! Enjoy.
Burgundy / Côte de Nuits
Gevrey-Chambertin / “Les Carougeots” Lieu-Dit
Pinot Noir 100%
Used French Barrels
Clay & Limestone