Gorgeous, Intense, “Velvety” Gevrey-Chambertin

We spent yesterday afternoon tasting the 2017s at the Domaine des Varoilles. Winemaker Gilbert Hammel is a softspoken man making red Burgundies that are anything but. Gevrey-Chambertin is typically a bold, masculine wine, and the Varoilles cuvées are even moreso.

His “Clos du Meix des Ouches” is a village level cuvée that drinks more like a premier cru. It’s surrounded by an old wall, which blocks the wind and traps warmth, making its wines particularly round and ripe.

The 2017s need six months; the 2015s need six years. But the 2016s are in a lovely spot.

This is about as bold and intense as red Burgundy gets. The nose is beautiful and enticing, showing dark cassis fruits, pansies, browned butter cookies and dry spice. The palate is very intense and mouthfilling, with explosively rich cherry fruits bolstered by punchy and delightfully chewable tannins.

Jancis Robinson found it “velvety and sweet-fruited,” “generous and rounded.” Burghound awarded 90 points, calling it “exceptionally rich” and finding “plum, cassis, and black cherry.” If your idea of Burgundy is light and ethereal, this will expand your view.



Varoilles Gevrey-Chambertin
“Meix des Ouches” 2016
bottle price: $75

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