I have been following the progress of Domaine Trapet over the years, and when I tasted the 2010s I got really exited and thrilled by the airy lightness that had entered the character of the wines.
Not to be specific .. this could have happened at any point a few vintages earlier – but what I found in the 2010s was that they seemed to be in a zen like balance and effortlessness.
This visit was my second visit at Domaine Trapet – the first being around 2000 – and a lot has happened since this first tasting – as the Burgundian world is different and so is my palate.
I must say it was a very interesting visit at Domaine Trapet, as biodynamic viticulture quickly became the topic of the conversation .. and in fact it got so involving that I forgot to take a photo of Jean-Louis Trapet or other photos at the estate for that matter. So note to self .. more photos!
It is always a priviledge to be able to meet very passionate people, and it was very interesting and benificial to hear Jean-Louis Trapet talk about the estate and especially the transformation to biodynamic viticulture.
Truly and deeply Biodynamic
Jean-Lous Trapet is one of the most dedicated biodynamic winemakers in the region and measured by certificates it’s in fact the most bio committed estate in Burgundy, as Jean-Louis Trapet holds both the Demeter and a Biodyvin biodynamic certification – hence also a 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 in this area. I do hope I will have the opportunity to return to learn more about the biodynamic viticulture when the season for vineyard work allows this.
I will try to cover the biodynamic topics in later articles – when I have done some more reading research. It’s indeed very interesting and also rather complex if one want to have a deeper understanding of the methods and theories behind the biodynamic viticulture.
I do feel that biodynamic viticulture influence both the quality and style of the wines … although it’s difficult to both explain and especially prove this scientifically.
Some wines – especially organic and biodynamic wines – seem to have a certain inner energy and tension, that enhance the feeling of both balance, detail and refinement in a zen like way. More traditionally grown wines can be both vibrant and energetic in a more extrovert and perhaps superficial way, and perhaps rarely in this effortless and balanced way seen in some biodynamic wines.
The wines from Jean-Louis Trapet has 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.
As stated in an earlier article .. I’m not a biodynamic fanatic .. but I do see the great benefits of organic and biodynamic viticulture – as this has shown to have a positive influence on the quality of the wines.
So this was my entry state of mind to the taste the wines at Domaine Trapet … To the tasting of the 2015s
Tasting notes from the visit on November 9th 2016
In general the all wines showed very well but some reduction was precent in a few of the wines.
The first wine in the glass the Bourgogne Blanc showed a very fine promise for the rest of the portfolio. A fresh and airy 2015 white, with a nice acidity and a very appealing zappy midpalate fruit. Made from the vineyards Auvonne and Varangée in Couchey (between Fixin and Marsannay) it’s a finely structured wine, with a lovely aromatic mid-palate fruit. It’s fresh and energetic for the vintage with a nice supporting minerality. This is drinking very well – Good (85 – 86p) – bottled.
Moving on to the Marsannay Blanc .. more mineral intensity and mid-palate power. Still very fresh and focused for the vintage – the coolness of the Marsannay area have given some fine whites in 2015. I really enjoyed this wine. Good+ (86 – 87p) – bottled – note to self taste and drink more white Marsannay.
Next up the A Minima Passetoutgrain made from 50% Gamay and 50% Pinot Noir from the vineyard Grand Champs located below the road south of the Gevrey village. A rich, forward and very organic wine with a lovely airy fruit – lively, youthful and vibrant. An informal wine to enjoy and drink with no regrets … Good+ (86 – 87p) – bottled.
The Bourgogne Rouge is a bit tighter and less anarchistic than the A Minima. The nose offer fine and detailed red and dark fruits – both airy and rather complex for this level. On the palate impressive depth and purity with plenty of fruit on the mid-palate. Offer a lovely drinkability – a very enjoyable wine – Good++ (86 – 87p) – bottled.
The Marsannay Rouge also showed very well offering plenty of juicy fruit – although slightly reduced. The nose offer forward ripe fruit – cherries, raspberries and a hint of sweet forest strawberries. On the palate generous with plenty of fruit all focused by a nice mineral backbone – really like the playful freshness in this wine – Good ++ (87 – 88p)
Then to the village level – the 2015 Gevrey Chambertin is a very good and delicate village wine with a lovely balance. The bouquet offer fine organic fruit, delicate and classic yet quite expressive for the appellation. On the palate very fine acidity and freshness for the 2015 vintage – beautifully balanced and with a juicy mid-palate fruit. Very Good (88 – 90p) – but not quite a match for the next village …
The Gevrey-Chambertin Ostrea 2015– is a special cuvée made from a quite high percentage of millerandage grapes – and from the best village plots – including vines planted back in 1913. This is a quite brilliant wine in the 2015 vintage, and in my view one of the top village wines of the appellation – matching both Cuvée Alexandring from Marc Roy and the Aux Etelois from Domaine Duroché. The bouquet is very expressive bursting with vibrant red fruit – notes of raspberries, cherries and pomegranate. Its ripe and forward with quite some spicy notes from the 60% whole cluster grapes. On the palate rich and balanced with a lovely mid-palate generosity and a vibrant touch of pomegranate and red currant. A juicy and tasty village offering tremendous drinkability and great deal of hedonistic indulgence. Fine+ (91 – 93p).
Next up quite a blockbuster – Petit Chapelle 1er cru– a vineyard located just below Chapelle-Chambertin. To be honest it hides the level of maturity remarkably well – but in the end the +14% level of alcohol shines through. It’s a big 1er cru .. and the word burly seems appropriate, and yet the outgoing bouquet seem to offer fine detail and depth. The level of ripeness does not feel over the top – as the fruit notes are relatively fresh without serious signs of overripeness. On the palate impressive weight, offering a quite delicate fruit with a nice balance. Fine+ (92 – 93p).
The next two 1er crus are more within my alcohol comfort zone – first the lovely Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur 1er cru 2015 – from a vineyard located below Mazis-Chambertin (just below the road). This is a a more floral and juicy wine – with a lovely detailed nose – notes of cherries, forest strawberries and a hint of red currant – elegant with a nice earthy minerality lurking below the juicy fruit notes. On the palate rich yet very elegant and refined, offering a fine and cool balance. It’s very juicy and zappy – Very Fine (93 – 94p).
Moving up to one of my favorites the Gevrey-Chambertin Capita 1er cru 2015 – made from three selected plots in Aux Combottes, Corbeaux and Ergot – and from 100% millerandage grapes in this vintage. Furthermore its made from 100% whole cluster grapes. This is a very expressive wine offering so much forward complexity and detail. The bouquet is bursting with red and dark berry fruit – juicy with notes of cherries, raspberries and pomegranate … spicy and vibrantly forward. On the palate almost velvet organic fruit – a very generous mid-palate both delicate and fresh with the sweet/sour pomegranate and red currant notes providing a playful freshness. A truly hedonistic pleasure – Very Fine indeed (93 – 95p).
The Chapelle-Chambertin 2015 is a return to a more classic Gevrey-Chambertin but also a step up to Grand cru level. The bouquet is more introvert than the outspoken Capita, but offer a lot of detail and delicate fruit notes. On the palate zappy fruit and saline minerality – it’s long and intense with a nice juicy balance. The Gevrey appellation has done very well in this vintage – however this slightly introvert and understated wine will need some time to unfold. Very Fine+ (94 – 95p).
Moving south and across the road to the tremendously delicate and refined Latriciere-Chambertin 2015one of the slightly hidden gems of the appellation and the vintage. This is a very refined and filigree terroir that seems to have done very well indeed in the 2015 vintage. The nose is offering cool and delicate red and dark berry fruit – notes of cherries, red forest berries – refined and envigorated by a filigree minerality to bring the lush fruit in focus. On the palate very elegant fruit – with a delicate and detailed minerality – zen like balance and a long mineral driven finish. This is a tremendously elegant Grand Cru .. Outstanding (95 – 96p).
Taking it to the next level is the mighty Le Chambertin 2015. This is a brilliant wine combining the intense minerality of this fine terroir and the rich and generous fruit of the vintage. Its an airy and effortless wine despite its power and intensity – offering layers of refined and juicy fruit. The nose is showing a symphony of ripe red and darker berries – cherries, red currant, pomegranate and boysenberries energized by the intense and playful minerality. On the palate tremendous intensity with a generous mid-palate fruit held in a tight grip by the filigree but very powerful minerality. It’s effortlessly powerful and airy offering both power and a sensual delicacy .. Extraordinary (97 – 98p) – chapeau!
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Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Trapet, Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 1989 October 14, 2015
- Domaine Trapet, Latricieres Chambertin 2012 January 18, 2015
- Domaine Trapet, Gevrey Chambertin 2012 January 17, 2015
- Domaine Trapet Pere et Fils, Latriciere Chambertin 1991 November 6, 2013
- Domaine Trapet, Gevrey Chambertin Petit Chapelle 2004 June 17, 2012
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