Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Village”
Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Village”

Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Village”

Burgundy / Côte de Nuits, France 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$87.00
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Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Village”

Burgundy connoisseurs: How much profoundly powerful, old-vine Gevrey-Chambertin do you have in your cellar? What about sub-$100 gems that’ll reward years of aging alongside any cult collectible? Or Pinots that redefine the meaning of fruit intensity and soil character? If your answer to any of these questions is “not enough,” Philippe Livera’s blockbuster will satisfy these neglected needs in one glorious swoop.

“Clos Village” is a brooding, dark, deeply concentrated Pinot Noir that envelops every inch of your palate with dense berry liqueur and ferrous minerality; it is the liquified essence of Gevrey-Chambertin in 2020. And while it may not come with a Premier/Grand Cru label, it holds all the pedigree one could ask for: 70-year-old vines, prime positioning just below Gevrey’s band of 1er Crus, and rigorously detailed winemaking from a four-generation family of genuine farmers. For many years now, Livera’s wines have been cornerstones of both our Burgundy offers and our personal cellars, and this vintage of “Clos Village” may just be the best argument for their greatness yet!

The Liveras first bottled their wines for sale in 2007 when current proprietor Damien took over. That might make them sound like a young up-and-comer, but the family has farmed vines and made wine in Gevrey-Chambertin since 1920. Before ’07, they’d sold finished wines to esteemed négociants like Louis Jadot and Bouchard. But when Damien came in, everything changed. He eliminated herbicides, began plowing the vineyards, drastically reduced yields, and upgraded the cellar. From the start, Damien marked his family’s domaine as one to watch. He hit the ground running and has put out some stellar bottles over the past decade. In 2020, though, his wines, especially the “mere” village-ranked “Clos Village,” have achieved a whole new level of complexity, seriousness, and outright greatness.

There are actually multiple parcels called “Clos Village” in Gevrey, but the source for today’s bottling is a Livera monopole. The walled vineyard sits outside of the family winery, about 150 yards downslope from the village’s most famous Premier Cru, “Clos Saint-Jacques.” Like in that esteemed site, the east-facing Pinot Noir vines in “Clos Village” plunge their roots beneath chalky marl into a deep limestone subsoil. The Livera’s vines here average over 70 years of age, with some dating back to the domaine’s founding over a century ago. The fruit is rigorously selected by hand in the vineyard and, once in the cellar, goes through a 5-7 day cold soak. Post-fermentation takes place in French barrels, 40% new. All of this combines for a wine in which every Gevrey hallmark—depth, structure, savory perfume—is cranked to full volume.

Fair warning: Livera’s “Clos Village” is a serious wine. Like all of the best 2020 Gevreys, it’s best not to touch it until at least 2024. If you absolutely can’t keep your hands off of it (I don’t blame you), I’d recommend at least an hour-long decant before dipping your toes in. It pours an opaque ruby-violet with viscous tears—it’s surprisingly dark for Pinot but a beautiful sign of what’s to come. The nose booms with blackcurrant, crushed black cherry, raspberry liqueur, sanguine iron, struck flint, fallen leaves, and mushroomy earth. On the palate, it’s medium-plus-bodied and fathomlessly deep with a sense of coiled tension running through soft acidity and muscular yet fine-grained tannin. It’s dark and concentrated and powerful, but in no way blowsy or overdone. Through it all, there’s a deep sense of soul, a feeling that when the village first earned its reputation as the boldest of the Côte de Nuits, it was staked on wines like this. This will reward you for years and years to come so stash away plenty!

Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Village”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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