2016 Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Gevrey-Chambertin, Red Burgundy, France.
The Domaine Taupenot-Merme, a producer that is been making some noise in recent years, is based in the village of Morey St Denis in the Cote de Nuits, and was formed back in 1963 with the marriage of Jean Taupenot and Denise Merme, is known for classically style wines from small parcels in over twenty appellations. Today Taupenot-Merme is led by the brother and sister team of Romain and Virginie Taupenot, and they have moved to all organic farming and the quality has really started to rise, and I was was in particularly impressed with this beautiful and structured village Gevrey-Chambertin, it makes you admire the winemaking skills of Romain and his non intervention or hands off low key style that allows each wine to show a sense of place and individual personalities. This 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin shows a lively freshness and purity of fruit with some firm tannins and it has subtle perfume and a good long finish, this is impressive Burgundy to enjoy in the medium term, it will likely go another 10 to 15 years, but I love how it opens in the glass and think it can be enjoyed thoroughly even now, as within minutes of the first sip there was everything you’d want on display here with lovely rose petals, red Pinot fruit and a touch of spice, smoke and mineral notes. This is a pretty Burgundy that gives a solid performance showing the mentioned floral bouquet, light earthy tones and complex layers of tart raspberry, black cherry (that echos throughout), plum and red currant fruits, cinnamon, shaved vanilla, tea spice, a touch of orange zest, wild forrest mushroom and woody toast.
Romain is pretty traditional in the cellar with his wines and this one saw a careful sorting and was all de-stemmed with the primary fermentation occurring naturally with indigenous yeasts with a soft maceration before the grapes go into the Champagne style gentle pneumatic press to control the phenolic extraction to make the wine as refined and silky. The elevage, at Taupenot-Merme, as their importer Martine’s Wines puts it, is simple, with Romain favoring mainly two tonneliers, Francois and Mercurey for the aging for his wines, like this one, which saw 20% new oak. The Gevrey-Chambertin saw just over a year in barrel on the fine lees with no racking, then the wine was transferred to stainless to settle and clarify for at least three months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. I had not had many of wines of Taupenot-Merme in recent years, though many of my friends have and have been saying these were special offerings with lots of early drinking pleasure, with many saying they were an under the radar producer that still was an under valued estate, and from my own experience with this 2016 I would agree. This one certainly impressed me and I would recommend it for those that love Burgundy, it isn’t a blockbuster, but it would be a rewarding bottle with any meal. I am excited to try more of the lineup of Taupenot-Merme and I hope to try the upper end range of Premier Crus and Grand Crus, after the quality of this Gevrey, they must be outstanding.
($75 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive