It’s often been said that the “ouverture de la symphonie” starts in Gevrey Chambertin.
As the famous local winemaker and founder of the “Ordre of the Knights of Tastevin” (Ordre des Chevaliers du Tastevin) at the Clos de Vougeot castle, Camille Rodier once said: “Gevrey Chambertin alone can make great Burgundy possible!”.
Gevrey Chambertin has a rare and unique “Terroir”, thanks to the “alluvial fan” that comes from a valley situated just behind (to the west) of Gevrey called “La Combe de Lavaux”. This glacier melted many millions of years ago and spread the rich top and sub-soil layers out through what is now the town to the plaines beyond. It is not surprising to find that 9 of the 33 Grand Crus come from this village including the famous Chambertin as well as 26 Premier Crus!
The town also boasts over 100 wine estates! The Tortochot is one of the more famous estates and has been in the Tortochot family for 4 generations. In the 19th century Paul Tortochot was a modest “vigneron” on the “Place des Marroniers”. His son Félix married Louise Liébaut from Morey Saint Denis, the neighbouring village. The Liebauts were well known in the village, to such an extent that they even have a varietal of Pinot Noir named after them! Gabriel, the son of Félix has run the 12 hectare estate for many years before moving aside to let his two daughters, Brigitte & Chantal, take over. In fact it’s Chantal that runs the estate’s day-to-day activities.
Chantal is one of a growing breed of “viticulteurs” in Burgundy. Bi-lingual and with valuable experience on the international stage, passionate, intelligent and with the in-bred ADN of a Gevrey winemaker. She has made it her primary battle to convert the estate into an “organic” one and will receive the official certification starting from the 2013 vintage. When talking to Chantal you realize just how knowledgable and passionate she is about her vineyards, the terroir and nature itself. “It’s very important to respect nature and to respect the vines in particular…”. Chantal is also an active member of the association “Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne” (women and wine in Burgundy), which showcases influent women in the wine industry in Burgundy.
When talking about her style of Pinot Noirs, Chantal explains: “Here we make a more traditional Gevrey Chambertin, with lots of fruit, strong tannins and good acidity. These are not really Pinots that can be drunk early…you have to be a little patient.”
The 1er Crus are fine examples of the terroir. The Champeaux is of a more fruity/floral style with notes of cherry and rose. This is a very elegant pinot with an impressively long finish.
Altogether a charming and impressive estate with an equally charming and professional owner. This is what true Gevrey is all about!