Burgundy is a magnificent place with tremendous wines, tasty food, beautiful countryside and villages to experience and enjoy.
This is, however, a problem when on a wine-tasting trip. There are too many appointments and too little time to simply live and enjoy Burgundy, to indulge and float through hedonistic pleasure and peaceful relaxation.
This is what Burgundy can do for you: relax you and get you in touch with your emotions while leaving everyday stress behind. The question is, however, does it?
I normally have three or four tastings a day; not many compared to some, but still too many to really appreciate Burgundy. Note to self: Take your time!
So this was a busy day, and I knew beforehand that the schedule was packed from Amélie Berthaut on. This was not the way to do it, as I should have left plenty of time to taste Amélie‘s delightful wines.
Her wines are magnificent, and over the last three or four years the quality has increased. The wines are consistently of high quality, even in a difficult year like 2018.
A bit about Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet
Amélie Berthaut has taken over the vineyards of Domaine Berthaut in Fixin from her father’s side, and two thirds of the vineyards from Domaine Gerbet in Vosne-Romanée from her mother’s family. Additionally, she rents some vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin from the Mercier family (Domaine des Chezeaux). Overall she’s in charge of 18 ha, which is a sizeable estate.
Nicolas Faure, Amélie’s husband, has taken over as vineyard manager at Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet, so the team is in place to produce great wines.
Notes from the tasting on November 13
The 2018 vintage here is showing well, without the missteps seen at some other estates. It was not the easiest of vintages for sure, yet Amélie and her team have met all its challenges, aside from slightly high alcohol levels in some wines even with the sizeable crop.
In my view, increasing the share of whole clusters in the vinification could have helped adapt to the rich vintage. However, a lack of space in the winery effectively stopped higher levels of whole clusters being used in 2018. Time will tell if Amélie goes further with whole clusters, but regardless, she still has my vote.
I could go on – as in previous articles – about the steady improvements at Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet, but you already know this so I will simply say it’s always great to be back at this estate. The wines are truly pleasing to the Winehog, and more and more of them have the hedonistic thrill that makes tasting wines so much fun.
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Hautes Côte de Nuits 2018
The Hautes Côte de Nuits is close to home for Amélie Berthaut, as she lived in Vosne as a child. The vineyards are up in the hills behind Vosne-Romanée, and make no mistake: This is a rocky area moving west from Vosne-Romanée into the Hautes Côtes and the village and area of Concoeur. This is a charming wine, with the nose offering vivid variations of cherries, and it has a lovely, organic feel. On the palate, quite vivacious with fine acidity and balance. The Concoeur area is quite a lot cooler – it was harvested two weeks later than Vosne – and this coolness is clearly an advantage in 2018. A Winehog award for this delightful drop.
(Drink From 2020) – Good (86p) – Tasted 12/03/2019 – ?
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Fixin 2018
Next up, the Fixin village. It is a bit on the hot side, so presumably a bit higher in alcohol. As always, it’s a blend of several plots, four according to my notes (Clos du Village, Fixey, Aux Prés, and La Sorgentière). This has good balance in this generous year and offers fine drinking. I would give it a bit more time than the Hautes Côtes de Nuits.
(Drink From 2024) – Good (85 – 86p) – Tasted 12/03/2019
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Fixin Les Crais 2018
This is one of my favorite wines from Fixin – and also from Berthaut-Gerbet. The whole-cluster inclusion (20%) really suits this cuvée – and Fixin generally – as it opens up the bouquet and adds a slightly silky feel to the wine. I really like the slightly sandy minerality and the extroverted nose of red and dark fruits. It is quite a rich wine in 2018, but balanced and vivid, and with a slightly creamy feel. See more background on Les Crais.
(Drink From 2023) – Very Good (88 – 89p) – Tasted 12/03/2019 – ?
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Fixin En Combe de Roy 2018
The Fixin En Combe de Roy got a bump up on whole-cluster inclusion – 40% in 2018. This gives the wine a fine organic feel with quite a floral expression, and lightens the slight austerity one can sometimes find in these wines, especially in hot years. The nose is expressive and generous with plenty of vivid fruit – there was a large share of millerandage grapes in this cuvée. On the palate it is intense and generous with lovely, effortless fruit.
(Drink From 2027) – Very Good (88 – 89p) – Tasted 12/03/2019
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Gevrey-Chambertin Combe de Dessus 2018
The Gevrey-Chambertin Combe de Dessus is a new village cuvée to me at Domaine Berthaut, from a vineyard in the core of the Gevrey village lieux-dits towards Brochon. It is slightly reducted currently, but is an intense and generous Gevrey; rich, but nicely balanced with vivid berry fruit.
(Drink From 2027) – Very Good (88 – 90p) – Tasted 12/03/2019
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Vosne-Romanée 2018
The Vosne-Romanée is from two vineyards: Les Réas and Au Dessus de la Rivière – the latter below Les Réas. Both vineyards were planted by Domaine Francois Gerbet in 1960 and are located at the southern end of Vosne. The 2018 is showing well, and is carrying its warmth better than some of the previous wines. It’s a vivid, refined and floral nose, with a bouquet of lovely Vosne spices. Very fine length and depth; give it several years.
(Drink From 2029) – Very Good (90p) – Tasted 12/03/2019 – ?
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Fixin 1er cru Les Arvelets 2018
As expected, the Fixin Les Arvelets is a generous and somewhat warm wine. As well here, 30% whole clusters is used, giving this wine a fine, organic profile – floral and vivid. This is a wine that will require some years to unfold, but it has lovely potential.
(Drink From 2029) – Fine (90 – 92p) – Tasted 12/03/2019
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Plantes 2018
The Chambolle Les Plantes is quite a beauty, with a lively profile. It’s from a 1er cru located in the middle of Chambolle, just below and next to Charmes. This is a charming, vivid wine with terrific energy and a delightful, hedonistic feel. It has an extra gear of excitement and vivacity. A delightful wine.
(Drink From 2031) – Fine+ (92 – 93p) – Tasted 12/03/2019 – ?
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Vosne-Romanée Les Petits-Monts 2018
One of my favorite wines from Amélie Berthaut is the Vosne-Romanée Les Petits-Monts, from an exciting, filigreed vineyard that speaks volumes mineral-wise. The 2018 effort is vivid, with delightful energy for the vintage, although one can sense a somewhat warm note and some extra generosity of the fruit. The fine balance of this cuvée yields a delightful, hedonistic feel on the mid-palate with its effortless energy and depth.
(Drink From 2032) – Very Fine (93 – 94p) – Tasted 12/03/2019 – ?
Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet Clos Vougeot 2018
The Clos Vougeot is a tremendous wine – with 50% whole clusters providing a vivid, floral character. This is a delightful Clos Vougeot with an energetic, hedonistic side. The bouquet is delicately perfumed, adding lovely complexity; fine spicy notes with scents of peony and rose, and a slight hint of chocolate. On the palate, refined, rather silky and with delightful depth. This is a beautiful effort – merci!
(Drink From 2035) – Outstanding (94 – 95p) – Tasted 12/03/2019 – ?
Recommendations … the hedonistic feeling
I have a strong feeling for the Clos Vougeot; it has a lovely, sensual, perfumed note. The Fixin Les Crais is, as usual, another favorite, as are the Vosne-Romanée Petit-Monts and the Vosne-Romanée village, which are almost ticking the hedonistic box and so get a “potential” vote at least.
Lastly, the Hautes Côte de Nuits most certainly deserves a recommendation, alongside the Chambolle-Musigny Les Plantes.
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Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet, Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 2016 November 23, 2018
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