Log In Sign Up

Domaine Gérard Raphet, Clos de la Roche Grand CruCôte de Nuits, Burgundy, France, 2018 (750mL)

Free shipping on any 6 bottles!

The Daily Offer

Domaine Gérard Raphet, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France, 2018 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

When talking about famed “Clos de la Roche,” Burgundy guru Clive Coates once penned “It is the biggest and classiest of the Morey Grand Crus. But the structure has an inherent lushness to it.” It’s as if he was speaking specifically about Gérard Raphet’s limited 2018 release. Today’s splendid beast is among the richest, most hedonistic Grand Cru Burgundies I’ve ever had, so let me be very clear: If you’re partial to young Corton and Chambertin, this wine is not for you! The staggering opulence and accessibility of this Pinot Noir is matched by none in recent memory—if I sat down and tried listing all the Grand Crus I’ve tasted in my career, I’m certain this would exist near or at the coveted #1 spot.


Frankly, it was destined to happen: Many of Raphet’s low-yielding vines in “Clos de la Roche” were planted over a century ago, and because of 2018’s prolific sun and warmth, the grapes were practically bursting at the seams. In the cellar, 18 months of aging in mostly neutral French barrels plus bottling without fining or filtration meant that the dense, deeply sumptuous fruit was left intact. So, what you see here is an outrageously delicious, ready-to-drink Grand Cru Pinot Noir that’s a pure snapshot of a blockbuster vintage. It’s a wine to savor while your Cortons and Chambertins slumber; a wine that’ll stun Burgundy fiends and novices alike; a wine you’ll always remember. 



In my wine-tasting travels, I often find that the personality of a wine is closely tied to that of its maker—but in Raphet’s case, the sheer opulence of his wines doesn’t align with his humble, taciturn personality. This is someone who truly lets the wine do the talking, and his tiny domaine, which he runs with his wife, Sylviane, and their daughter, Virginie, doesn’t have anywhere near the name recognition it deserves. I’ll say this, though: We’ve done our part to spread the good word about Raphet. Regardless of which tier of the Burgundy pyramid they’re working in, they over-achieve, whether it’s their Bourgogne Rouge, his enviable collection of Premier Crus, or one of his old-vine Grand Crus like today’s.


Raphet’s ace in the hole is his family’s collection of seriously old vines, some of which have now surpassed the century mark: His few rows in Grand Cru “Clos de la Roche” are planted on the upper slope, near Clos Saint-Denis, and boasts vines planted in 1982 and 1920! They are farmed sustainably and yields are extremely low which produced rich, compact berries in the warm ‘18 vintage. Working in their small cellar, which is attached to their nearby family home in Morey-Saint-Denis, the Raphets ferment their hand-harvested fruit on ambient yeasts in tank. The finished wine was transferred into mostly used French oak for 18 months, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. 


One thing I’ve noticed about Raphet’s upper-tier 2018s is that they are tantalizingly accessible and opulent on release. That said, I don’t think 15-20 years of evolution is out of the question for today’s “Clos de la Roche” but I would be positively shocked if you were able to keep your hands off it for that long. Immediately after pulling the cork and pouring into Burgundy stems, a flurry of intoxicating aromas roar out of the glass—even without a decant. You’ll be wrapped in a warm embrace of black cherry and raspberry liqueur, black plum, candied violet, crushed rose, wild strawberry, red currant, licorice, forest floor, crushed stone, various baking spices, and an intense, overarching perfume that will only deepen with more years in the cellar. The palate is full-bodied—there’s no arguing otherwise—and unfolds with dense, concentrated layers of dark berry liqueur and crushed minerals. Even with such a luxurious, palate-coating mouthfeel, it never loses sight of its blue-blooded Burgundian identity. That’s 2018 “Clos de la Roche” for you. Cheers!




Domaine Gérard Raphet, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France, 2018 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionCôte de Nuits, Burgundy
  • Sub-RegionClos de la Roche Grand Cru
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • OakMostly Neutral French Barrels
  • Service Temp.60° F
  • GlasswareLarge Burgundy Stems
  • DrinkNow-2028
  • Decanting15-30 Minutes
  • PairingBeef Bourguignon

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionCôte de Nuits, Burgundy
  • Sub-RegionClos de la Roche Grand Cru
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • OakMostly Neutral French Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareLarge Burgundy Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2028
  • Decanting15-30 Minutes
  • PairingBeef Bourguignon