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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.

Click to enlarge

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.

Winemaking

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?

Gevrey-Chambertin is in the Côte de Nuits between Dijon and Beaune. 

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”

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2015 Harmand-Geoffrey Gevrey-Chambertin Burgundies

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About the Wines

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin

Drawn from multiple vineyards, ten in total, with vines aged between 25 and 80 years of age, this was raised with only 20% new oak. It offers silken, kirsch-like fruit and no lack of drive. A superb ‘survey’ of Gevrey-Chambertin in 2015, this is already open for business.

87-90 points

“Deep ruby color. The fruit profile is once again dark and ripe with notes of black cherry, plum and plenty of earth character. There is excellent richness to the caressing and rounded flavors that tighten up on the lingering and balanced if not especially complex finale though more depth should develop with a few years of cellar time.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin En Jouise

The lieu-dit of En Jouise lies at the heart of the appellation, below the village, a little under the Harmand’s parcel in 1er Cru La Perrière. Harmand farms a little under one hectare where the average age of the vines is now pushing an impressive 65 years on average. There is more fruit weight than the wine above, but also more tone and structure and the tannins are very fine. The Domaine’s two lieu-dit wines see a little more oak than the blended village wine, although once again the natural depth of the wine’s fruit mops up the 30% new oak like a sponge.

88-91 points

“Here the expressive and ripe nose combines notes of both red and dark berry fruit along with spice, earth and floral nuances. Despite the relatively supple mid-palate the middle weight flavors manage to exhibit fine delineation on the dusty, sappy, more refined and slightly more complex finale. Good stuff.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur

The Clos Prieur vineyard lies just below the grand cru Mazis-Chambertin. This is one of the finest village terroirs in Gevrey. It’s also one of those confusing split-rated Burgundy vineyards, where part of the same vineyard is classified as 1er Cru and part as villages. Harmand has three, old-vine parcels spread across both sides of the demarcation, so this wine is roughly one-third 1er Cru (45-year-old vines) with two-thirds villages, (85 year old vines!) In 2015 these vines generated just seven barrels of this intense, layered and seductive Gevrey-Chambertin. With chiselled structure underlying the layered, fleshy, mineral- etched fruit, there is yet another step up on every level here. As the note below makes clear, it’s a wine that could easily pass for a very good 1er cru!

89-91 points

"Top Value. Outstanding. A more restrained though still exceptionally pretty nose grudgingly reveals aromas of plum, black raspberry and an array of floral elements and in particular violets. There is a bit more volume to the delicious and more mineral-inflected medium weight flavors that are shaped by fine but firm tannins on the focused and relatively powerful finish. This excellent effort will demand at least some patience.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes

From three parcels with vines that have an average of 65 years, Geoffroy’s VV cuvée draws its depth and structure from well-sited vines in the outstanding terroirs of En ChampsCombe du Dessus and Champerrier, all on the northern, Brochon side of the village. Vinified with a touch more new oak than the Gevrey villages (40%), this is an altogether, deeper and denser expression of Gevrey, reflecting the old vines and the powerful terroir of the Brochon side of Gevrey. Yes indeed, the 2015 is outstanding.

89-92 points

“Top Value. Outstanding. This is the first wine to display any material level of reduction but it's enough to push the underlying fruit to the background. Otherwise there is excellent volume and intensity to the rich, bold and full-bodied flavors that brim with dry extract that helps to buffer the notably firm tannins on the beautifully long finish. This robust effort is an excellent Gevrey villages but patience definitely required.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru La Bossière

Monopole. Harmand Geoffroy is the exclusive producer of this 1er Cru which, at 0.45-hectare is the smallest 1er Cru in Gevrey. The vines here were replanted in ’88. Nestling right at the opening of the Combe de Lavaux, La Bossière is a very cool, late harvesting site, buffeted by the fresh winds that whistle down the valley. It is this position that defines the ultimate personality of the wine, typically giving it a cool, mountainous feel, tremendous minerality and freshness. In 2015, this is countered by the ripe generosity of the year, so you get the best of both worlds—wonderful succulence and a taut, chiseled finish.

90-92 points

“This is very ripe yet quite fresh with its layered mélange of liqueur-like raspberry, cassis and violet aromas. The succulent, vibrant and well-detailed medium weight flavors are underpinned by bright acidity on the relatively refined finish that delivers solid length. This is unusually ripe for what is normally a very cold terroir.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru La Perrière

Nestled underneath the grand cru vineyard of Mazis-Chambertin and immediately north of Clos PrieurLa Perrière enjoys a superb position on the Côte. As the name suggests, this is a very stony vineyard—Perrière has an etymology that relates to ‘stone’ or ‘rock’. From just a third of a hectare of 50-year-old vines, the wine falls stylistically somewhere between the simmering intensity of the Mazis-Chambertin and Clos Prieur, and the elegance and finesse of the En Jouise and the Harmand’s monople 1er cru La Bossière. It is a terrific Gevrey—imbued with freshness, flesh and vibrant minerality—that will only get better with age.

90-92 points

“A wonderfully fresh, cool and airy nose features scents of black cherry and earth with a floral top note. There is fine mid-palate density and minerality to the delicious, intense and serious flavors that are also shaped by a firm tannic spine that will require some years of cellaring to soften.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux Saint Jacques

Almost fully south facing, Lavaux St Jacques sits exposed to the Combe de Lavaux (Lavaux Valley), right next door to Clos St Jacques. It is always the last Geoffroy site to be harvested. This is no doubt due to the vineyard’s position, in the direct path of the cool air streams that flow down from the Combe. Spread across six tiny parcels totalling just 0.75-hectares, the family’s vines range between 40 and 95 years old and go onto make what is the most graceful and precise wine in the Harmand stable. Expect a pure and vibrant glass of red burgundy with both red and dark cherry fruit, plenty of anise and spice complexity and a long, powdery close.  Great class on offer here.

91-93 points

“Outstanding. A discreet application of wood sets off the cool essence of black raspberry, humus, forest floor and game nuances. There is first-rate punch to the even more intensely mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent underlying material along with a very firm and presently prominent tannic spine that makes its presence felt on the hugely long finish. This is terrific provided you have the patience to allow it the considerable time it will require to soften.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

2015 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru

This is simply primordial Gevrey from one of the finest sites in this famous village. In spite of a price rise this year, it remains one the best-priced red Grand Crus that we can offer today. Mazis-Chambertin lies at the northern end of the grand cru slope, directly adjacent to Clos-de-Bèze. This wine comes from six different parcels in both Mazis Haut and Bas (that average 45+ years of age and total 0.73ha). Mature vines in such a terroir brings depth and power yet also great class. Phillipe Harmand’s work in Mazis has drawn praise from his Gevrey neighbour, Arnaud Mortet, who told us last year that, “Phillipe has some of the best vineyards in Mazis, and he’s produces one of its best wines.” He has certainly crafted something positively explosive in 2015.

92-94 points

“Sweet Spot. Here the nose is slightly more deeply pitched with attractively spiced aromas that include iron-infused warm earth notes as well as animale and underbrush hints. The succulent yet overtly powerful big-bodied flavors are blessed with ample dry extract that coats the palate on the very firm, concentrated and driving finish. There is real energy here and while the tannins are notably prominent at the moment, this is actually fairly refined for a young Mazis.”

Allen Meadows, burghound.com Issue 65

95 points

“The 2015 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru is superb, offering up a classic bouquet of wild berries, cherry, grilled game, subtle mint and a framing of smoky new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and concentrated, with true grand cru depth and dimension, its tannins fine-grained and its finish long and penetrating. This is a powerful Mazis-Chambertin that retains excellent energy and freshness despite its considerable volume, and which could compete with some of Gevrey's finest.”

William Kelly, The Wine Advocate #236