2017 Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy, Gevrey-Chambertin, Red Burgundy, France.
The steady and well regardad Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy is run by Gerard Harmand and his son, Philippe, this family-run estate that was originally founded in the late nineteenth century has nine hectares of vineyards, all planted to Pinot Noir and all located within the boundaries of Gevrey Chambertin in the Cote de Nuits. The viticulture and winemaking here is traditional and classically styled, as this 2017 bottling of basic Gevrey-Chambertin shows to great effect, with transparent and silken textural layering, ripe red fruits, mineral and a touch of raw earthiness that perfect matches the percentage of newer oak barrels and the subtle sweet toastiness. This bottling with its white label, uniquely different from another importer, was a direct import for K & L Wines, in case long time fans of this winery, as I am, might be confused, but the quality and taste is all too, and happily so, familiar. The 2017 is medium bodied and has a dark ruby color with a nose of crushed berries, rose petals, sandalwood and a faint chanterelle, woodsy note, before opening up on the palate to black cherry, blood orange, mulberry and strawberry fruits along with an array of baking spices, underbrush and seeped tea. The lingering finish finish is pure smooth Pinot with an almost creamy aftertaste, while still bright and youthful, it proved easy to enjoy and was graceful with food. The clean lines in this wine come from the use of stainless in the primary fermentation and the well judged use of new oak, which is typically around 20% in this bottling, and in the vines, Gérard and Philippe hand tend and farm without the use of pesticides, chemicals or synthetic treatments, looking to promote healthy soils and authentic character in their wines.

The Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy offers a chance to explore the terroir of Gevrey-Chambertin through their many lieu-dit and Premier Cru sites at very reasonable prices, except for the Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin, which is their most prized wine, especially for the small production and hand crafted nature of this wines. This wines may never be blockbusters, but they are wonderfully true in possessing a sense of place and this 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin way over performs for the price I got it for. Gerard and Philippe use grapes that are de-stemmed 100%, and carefully hand sorted, then there is a cold soak and maceration that lasts up to five dayss, then cuvaison goes on for about two weeks, this is very carefully and gently done with precise temperature-control. After the wine is finished with primary fermentation it is then racked into barrel where the malo-lactic fermentation occurs naturally and the wines are aged for close to 16 months on the fine lees in small oak barrels or Burgundy barriques and bottled unfined and unfiltered. In America and especially on the west coast, you almost never see a quality grower/producer Gevrey under $75 these days, so when I saw this offered at such a low price I was a touch nervous, but it is drinking beyond expectations and I would recommend it without hesitation. These wines, in my own experience get a bit more complex and pretty when they get a few more years on them, the maturity brings a delicacy that is very rewarding. This Village Gevrey was assembled from a selection of different plots with a combination of clay and limestone based soils, all scattered throughout the appellation including some up to 80 years old, giving the wine its pedigree. Over the years, since the 2006 vintage, I’ve tried the Gevreys and the Mazis many times and I’ve always happy with what I’ve found.
($45 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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