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Domaine Gérard Raphet, Grand Cru Charmes-ChambertinCôte de Nuits, Burgundy, France 2020 (750mL)

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Domaine Gérard Raphet, Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France 2020 (750mL)

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The sweepstakes continue…Gérard Raphet’s sumptuous Burgundies routinely soar to the top of our wish list, and today we have access to the very top of the domaine’s own hierarchy: Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin. We’ve made several pilgrimages to Raphet’s cellar in years past, and my takeaway on their Charmes has been that it’s the most thrillingly age-worthy yet simultaneously effusive/luxurious cuvée in their entire lineup. If I’m looking for a Burgundy that epitomizes the character of Gevrey’s lauded Grand Crus, this is as good as it gets, especially when considering the who’s-who of cult producers sharing this hallowed site.


Truly, this is a mesmerizing, stupendously delicious Grand Cru Pinot Noir no fanatic can afford to miss—and I mean that quite literally: Current Charmes-Chambertin releases from Rousseau, Roumier, and Bachelet are fetching four digits; many other producers are within a stone’s throw of $500; and all other elite names are priced between $200-$250 at the bare minimum. Except one. Because of our longtime relationship with Raphet’s importer, we were given a micro-allocation of this regal, jaw-droppingly gorgeous 2020 at the lowest-possible price. Up to four bottles per customer. I’m estimating just 25 collectors will be able to call this Grand Cru theirs. 



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, with his four parcels in Charmes—which sits immediately downslope of “Le Chambertin”—averaging 50-60 years of age! Working in their small cellar which is attached to their nearby family home in Morey-Saint-Denis, the Raphets ferment their meticulously sorted, hand-harvested fruit via ambient yeasts in stainless steel tanks. The resulting Grand Cru wine is transferred into French barriques, 20% new, for 18 months. A bottling without fining or filtration means that the dense, deeply luxuriant fruit is left to shine in all its glory.  


So, what you see here is an outrageously delicious, ready-to-drink Grand Cru Pinot Noir that’s a pure snapshot of a fantastic vintage in Gevrey. Today’s 2020 Charmes-Chambertin reveals a flashy, highly reflective deep ruby in the glass. It is explosive, exuberant, and tantalizingly ready-to-drink with generous aromas of lush black cherry, black raspberry, wild strawberry coulis, damp violets, iron, licorice, red tea, and forest floor. If enjoying a bottle now, decant 30 minutes before serving at 60 degrees in large Burgundy stems. Lose your remaining bottles in a cool, dark corner of your home and re-visit them throughout the next 10-15 years. 




Domaine Gérard Raphet, Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France 2020 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy / Côte de Nuits
  • Sub-RegionGevrey Chambertin / Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 20% New

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy / Côte de Nuits
  • Sub-RegionGevrey Chambertin / Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 20% New
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareLarge Burgundy Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2030
  • Decanting30-60 Minutes
  • PairingSeared Duck Breast w/ Wild Blueberries