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“Gérard Harmand, and his son Philippe, run this 9 ha domaine (that owns the rarely seen monopole of La Bossière) where a great deal of progress has been made in the last few years since my last visit. As Gérard explained, this father-son team are trying to make wines with more elegance and finesse…I agree completely with Harmand’s assertion that they’re now making wines that are better balanced and less overtly rustic than in the past…” Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, Issue 29.
Gérard Harmand and his son Philippe produce archetypal Gevrey Chambertin from a superb range of terroirs.
They have remarkable, old vine holdings, up to 85 years in age, in Lavaux St Jacques, Champeaux, Perrière and La Bossiere (Monopole), as well as a healthy slice of the Grand Cru Mazis Chambertin. If you love classic Gevrey with site transparency, lifted aromatics, fresh, crunchy fruit and fine, powdery tannins, then these wines are for you.
The village of Gevrey-Chambertin is home to some of the finest Grand Cru and Premier Cru Pinot Noir vineyards in Burgundy.
Many changes have occurred at this Domaine over the last five years. Only perfect fruit now makes it into the wines and very gentle handling of fruit, must and wine is the order of the day. There is now a strict sorting of bunches in the vineyard and then again via a sorting table, when the grapes arrive in the winery.
Tannin and colour extraction now occurs via gentle pump-overs as opposed to punch-downs. This results in far finer tannins. Also, all mechanical pumps have been removed from the winery and now gas pressure and gravity are used to move the must/wine. The wines are also moved as little as possible. With top-drawer fruit and now with more attention to detail in the winery, this Domaine’s star is certainly on the rise. The wines are now much stronger, more intense and are a joy to drink.
The wines undergo a prefermentation maceration, or cold soak for 5 days, followed by 15-21 days on skins depending on the year. Village and Premier Cru’s see 20-40% new oak, the Grand Cru 90% for 12-16 months. The focus is on the fruit, not the would. The proof is in the glass. Phillipe suggest giving their wines plenty of air prior to devouring them.
The 2015 Vintage at Harmand Geoffroy
Following a series of difficult harvests, Phillipe Harmand probably felt like he was due a break. He certainly got that in 2015. Now solely in charge of this 9-hectare, old-vine Domaine, Harmand cited 2015 has his strongest vintage to date. “It’s got everything,” he told us. I’m inclined to agree. Harmand is now managing extraction with greater sensitivity, (only minimal pigeage and moving the wines by gravity) which has paid dividends this year. In short he has rendered a set of wonderfully fragrant, layered and persistent Gevrey-Chambertin from this admittedly outstanding year. These are wines with the kind of underlying vitality that sings of both the vintage and the growing confidence of this young vigneron.
Where in the World are They?
In the video below we explore the geology and geography of the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny. Gevrey-Chambertin is the first village discussed.
If you want to explore these three villages in more detail head to the article in the Wine Bites Mag “Getting Your Head Around Burgundy Part 3 – Get it in your Gob. Tasting the Villages, Classifications, the Phases of Ageing”