Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont – also known as Domaine Axelle Marchard de Gramont, or just Axelle – is one of my fixed annual tastings, and this was actually my second visit here since I moved to Burgundy earlier in the year.
The Covid-related shuffling of tastings gave me the opportunity to revisit Axelle in the hills of Vergy not far from Nuits-Saint-Georges. So let’s go!
On the program this time was tasting the 2020s, and a quick sample of the bottled 2019s.
A bit of background on Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont is a relatively small estate originating from Nuits-Saint-Georges. It farms six hectares in total, located mainly in the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation, but with plots in Vosne-Romanée and Vergy as well.
The domaine has family links with the Machard de Gramont estate in Premeaux and the Chantal Lescure estate in Nuits-Saint-Georges. It was established in 1983 by Bertrand Machard de Gramont (Axelle’s father) when his family domaine was divided into three parts. Bertrand had until then worked at the family estate after a time at Domaine de Vogüé in Chambolle-Musigny, working under Alain Roumier, the old regisseur there.
Axelle Machard de Gramont returned to Burgundy in 2004 to take on the vigneronne challenge. She is now running the estate, with support from her dad.
An important change in vinification via modified elevage
Axelle made an important change to the vinification – or rather the elevage – by reducing the time the wines spend in oak barrels and instead continuing the maturation in stainless-steel tanks. In total, her wines spend 12-14 months in cask followed by six months in tank.
This does change the character of the wines: They appear more energetic and forwardly fruity. This technique was applied beginning in 2018, and has continued through the ’19s to the 2020 vintage.
While not a ground-breaking change, the wines have benefitted, showing a livelier mid-palate, which plays well into the organic style and image of the estate.
To say it directly: There is more hedonistic joy and emotional impact after the change in elevage, which gives a more contemporary, organic feel to the wines. This suits the style of both the domaine and the wines, so congratulations Axelle!
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont’s 2020s
Axelle has done very well in both 2019 and 2020, and while 2019 is the better vintage here, the ’20s do have some lovely, cool values that excel in some of the wines. There is a fine balance between delicacy and intensity in the Nuits-Saint-Georges wines which is not necessarily easy to find.
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont Bourgogne Rouge Les Grands Chaillots 2020
The Bourgogne Rouge is made from a plot in the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation below the road and Chaillots. Please note: This is not a village, it’s a regional wine. The slightly cool feel gives the 2020 a lighter expression, although the concentration is quite intense. It’s quite close to the quality of the ’19, but in the end, the earlier vintage will prove the better wine.
(Drink from 2022) – Good – Tasted 20/07/2021 –
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Terrasses de Vallerots 2020
A signature wine for this estate, coming from the terraces that can be seen from the RD974 between NSG and Premeaux (see photo below). The 2020 Terrasses is really showing well, with its limestone minerality quite apparent. It has the lovely organic lightness and delicacy of fruit so typical of this fine and special terroir. A wine to seek out.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 20/07/2021 –
Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vallerots 2020
Les Vallerots is, as always, a step up in concentration and depth. The intensity is there, but this also gives it a slight hint of the inky note found in so many NSGs from the middle part of the appellation. In 2020 Les Terrasses has the edge, while Les Vallerots was the better wine in 2019. It’s a matter of preference, but I do find better phenolic ripeness in Les Terrasses.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 20/07/2021
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Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Vosne-Romanée 2015 July 23, 2017
- Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Nuits-St-Georges Aux Allots 2015 July 23, 2017
- Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Nuits-St-Georges Les Vallerots 2015 July 23, 2017
- Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Nuits-St-Georges Les Terrasses de Vallerots 2015 July 23, 2017
- Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Bourgogne Grands Chaillots 2015 July 23, 2017
- Domaine Bertrand Machard de Gramont, Aligote 2015 July 23, 2017
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