Domaine Gérard Raphet, Bourgogne Rouge "Les Grands Champs"
Domaine Gérard Raphet, Bourgogne Rouge "Les Grands Champs"

Domaine Gérard Raphet, Bourgogne Rouge "Les Grands Champs"

Burgundy, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$39.00

Domaine Gérard Raphet, Bourgogne Rouge "Les Grands Champs"

Let’s get right to it: There’s really no better value in old school, single-vineyard red Burgundy than Gérard Raphet’s “Les Grands Champs.” And, given the rabid following this special cuvée has at SommSelect, we can deduce that a great many of you agree. But for those who are new to this mind-blowing Pinot value, here’s what makes it so special. First, Raphet exclusively sources his Bourgogne Rouge from a single parcel within the prestigious town of Gevrey-Chambertin, one that falls just beyond the AOC line despite being surrounded by not one, not two, but three village-level vineyards. Second, Gérard and his daughter, Marion, who’s slowly taking the reins here, treat this “basic” Bourgogne with just as much care as their Premier and Grand Crus. The vines are well over 40 years old, and they age it slowly and carefully in used oak barrels for 18 months. Elegant, silky, earthy, and chock full of throwback Pinot character, this is the perfect red to have on hand for any occasion, and the most impressive thing is that the price hasn’t budged for years. And if you grab six or more you can save another 10%, but really, you should buy it by the case no matter what!

Check out this map and you’ll discover that the lieu-dit of “Les Grands Champs” is surrounded on three sides by officially recognized Gevrey-Chambertin vineyards. Additionally, if you were to stand in Grand Cru Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and look downhill, this parcel would be within viewing distance! How is it possible that this site fell outside the AOC line? Often, vineyards are left out of appellation labeling for slight differences in elevation, slope, and/or soil composition, but with Les Grands Champs, we distinguish no discernible difference. An astute blind taster would likely nail it as top tier Gevrey-Chambertin, loaded as it is with woodsy flavors, softly knit spices, and deep perfume. 

Gérard Raphet, who took over the domaine from his father in 2002, works his parcels manually and farms today’s 40+-year-old vines with a lutte raisonnée approach— a method that implies an organic approach unless faced with extreme circumstances in difficult vintages. Gérard, Marion, and their team use traditional cultivation methods and harvest only by hand. The grapes undergo strict sorting before fermentation with natural yeasts, and the Bourgogne Rouge is put into mostly neutral French oak barrels for 18 months. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

In the glass, Raphet’s 2022 reveals a bright, translucent ruby and trickles out supple, knee-weakening aromas of spiced cherries, plum skin, crushed raspberries, violets, cinnamon, star anise, and hints of mint. The palate is medium-bodied and delivers soft layers of petrichor, forest floor, and damp, crunchy wild berries. It finishes lifted and balanced with a lingering iron-tinged minerality that hints at its Gevrey-Chambertin origins. This is a Bourgogne Rouge that needs very little coaxing to come roaring out of the gates, but a quick 30 minute decant is still recommended. Serve it cool, between 55 and 60 degrees, with a classic roast chicken or steak frites and you’ll be in simple, rustic heaven. It’s truly a gorgeous Pinot Noir, one that will drink best over the next two to five years. So stock up, and enjoy!

Domaine Gérard Raphet, Bourgogne Rouge "Les Grands Champs"

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