Trapet and Chambertin – two words that for 100 years have been closely linked together by the Trapet family’s important ownership of vines in this mighty grand cru.
Arthur Trapet decided to buy his first plot of Chambertin in May 1919, and this holding was later expanded to become the largest in the Chambertin vineyard.
Let’s take a closer look at the Trapet Chambertin.
Trapet in Gevrey-Chambertin
While the Trapet family today is very closely associated with the Gevrey appellation, the family originates from the Dauphiné, later moving to Burgundy (Chambolle Musigny), where Louis Trapet was born in 1846. Louis Trapet did, however, meet a girl from Gevrey-Chambertin – Marie Raillard (1846-1933) – and moved to Gevrey-Chambertin in 1871, thus beginning the family’s presence in the village.
Louis’s son Arthur Trapet (1872-1940) began the family’s journey into wine by purchasing vineyards, starting with Chapelle-Chambertin in 1892, Clos Prieur in 1893, Latricieres Chambertin in 1904, du Champérrier in 1913 and finally Chambertin in 1919.
Arthur Trapet was married to Marie Mirbel (1874-1923), and they had a son Louis Trapet (1904 – 1992), who in 1933 married Renée Charle. Louis Trapet expanded the family business, speaking English and doing business with Alexis Lichine – one of the most prominent names in the wine world in those days.
Louis Trapet had two children: a son Jean Trapet (1933 – ) and a daughter Mado, who married Jacques Rossignol. The Trapet estate continued to grow until 1989, but in the end the estate was divided in two, and Jean-Louis Trapet, the son of Jean Trapet and his wife Christine Régnier (1940- ), took over the Domaine Jean Trapet part when the division was completed in 1990.
Jean-Louis Trapet was born in 1965 and is the current man on the bridge, running this important and now biodynamic estate. Jean-Louis married Andrée Greyer in 1988, just in time to assume the reins of the estate in 1990. Andrée Greyer and Jean-Louis Trapet today run a second family estate in Alsace as well – also named Trapet.
Jean-Louis Trapet is one of the most dedicated biodynamic winemakers in the region, and measured by his certifications, the domaine is the most organically committed estate in Burgundy. Jean-Louis Trapet holds both the Demeter and a Biodyvin biodynamic certification, as well as an organic Agriculture Biologique certification as the basis for the Biodyvin certification.
The estate has been working biodynamically since 1996 and was certified in 2009, so 20 years of knowledge has been accumulated at this estate, giving Jean-Louis a great insight into these practices.
I believe that biodynamic viticulture influences both the quality and style of the wines … although it’s difficult to both explain – and especially to prove – this scientifically.
Some wines – particularly for me organic and biodynamic wines – have a certain inner energy and tension that enhance the feeling of balance, detail and refinement in a zen-like way.
The wines from Jean-Louis Trapet have this airy inner balance and tension, and while some of wines “glow” more than others, I do feel that he has taken things to a much higher level during the last 5 to 10 years, and deserves to be mentioned among the very top names of the appellation.
The Jean Trapet holdings on Chambertin
The Trapet holdings in Chambertin were initiated by Arthur Trapet in 1919 – just in time to get on the list of Chambertin owners in Rodier 1920 – see below.
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