2014 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-St.-Georges les Vaucrains 1er Cru

Year: 2014
Appellation: Cote de Nuits
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 91-93
Vinous Media: 91-93
Burghound: 92-95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$139.95

"The 2014 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru les Vaucrains comes from some of the domaine's oldest vines that are approaching their eight decade. It appears to have a little more mineral-drive compared to the Les Saint Georges at the moment. It is very precise and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, beautifully judged acidity and a slight meatiness, gaminess just coming through on the finish. Perhaps on reflection, I just have a preference for the Les Saint Georges that seems to have that sense of completeness, though this should still be very fine.

My final week in Burgundy kicked off on a frozen Monday morning at the brothers Chevillon in Nuits-Saint-Georges. The large frame of cuddly Bertrand Chevillon, the fifth generation to run the domaine with his brother Denis, came out to greet me. I found him in chatty form, commenting that it was an opportune moment to visit, since his cellar is beginning to cool down, the wines beginning to "hibernate" for the winter. He told me that he didn't really have any problem with the drosophila suzukii fruit fly -- Nuits-Saint-Georges seeming to be the limit of its contagion. He picked between September 11 and 19, with the malolactic here a bit later than usual between April and June. He commented about the freshness of the vintage and the clear expression of the individual terroirs. I asked him if he had a particular favorite and he said that he couldn't pick between his "babies." Well, leave that to me. Readers will already be aware that I have long adored Bertrand and Denis Chevillon's wines and I was deeply impressed by his 2014s, even if he correctly observed that they were beginning to close up. I loved the purity and finesse that they have extracted here, perhaps better than either the 2012s and 2013s. It was a consistent bunch of Premier Crus, perhaps Les Pruliers catching my attention more than others at this early stage. Who made the best 2014s in the appellation of Nuits-Saint-Georges? I think the answer is pretty straightforward. Chevillon." (WA)

"Bright medium red. Very ripe aromas of redcurrant, minerals and damp earth are a bit less fruity and pristine than those of the Saint-Georges. Broad, fat and rich, with building redcurrant and raspberry flavors displaying impressive volume but not quite the energy or precision of the Saint-Georges. Best today on the very long, silky, expanding finish." (VM)

"Ample wood spice is present on the brooding and deeply pitched nose of plum, dark currant, smoked meat and sauvage scents. Though this is an overtly powerful and muscular wine the seductively textured mid-palate is velvety thanks to the copious amount of dry extract that also buffers the notably firm tannic spine on the gorgeously long finale. This strikingly good effort will be approachable somewhat earlier than usual but make no mistake this is still going to require a long stay in a cool cellar." (BH)

Winery Notes:
The stunning collection of premier cru and old-vine vineyards held by the two Chevillon brothers would make any Pinot Noir grower jealous. Their innate ability to carefully tend the vines and master the difficult Burgundian conditions provides ripe, healthy clusters of grapes year after year. Taste through the barrels of Chevillon post-harvest and it doesn't matter what happened the year before, almost as if by miracle, the wines show class and character and each terroir has its distinct idiosyncrasies. It is le vrai Pinot chez Chevillon.

Brothers Bertrand and Denis Chevillon are the fifth generation managers of this property in Nuits- Saint-Georges, which means they work the vines and make the wines. Their father Robert, for whom the domaine is named, is still active as well. Both brothers bring passion, experience, a tireless work ethic, and intensity to their work at the domaine. Tasting through their palate of Nuits- Saint-Georges is a venerable tour of the appellation. Their Passetoutgrain, a blend of Pinot and Gamay, is a worthy introduction and their rare (two barrels made) Nuits-Saint-Georges Blanc made from the “Pinot Gouges” is an exotic treasure that ages just as long as the domaine’s fabled reds. And their Bourgogne Aligoté, Bourgogne Chardonnay and Bourgogne Rouge are grown and vinified with the same care as their premier crus. It shows.

The track record of the Chevillon wines in the cellar is one of the most remarkable aspects of this storied domaine. We regularly have the good fortune to taste back through the past three decades of vintages of all the various premier crus and the wines always more than convincing—they are amongst Burgundy’s very best. In fact, I have often been more disappointed with grand cru bottlings than I am with the top-tier Chevillon premier crus. Indeed, Nuits-Saint-Georges does not officially have any grand cru vineyards, but we are convinced that Cailles, Vaucrains and Les Saint-Georges are firmly grand cru quality. This decision is currently in the hands of the appellation authorities but it is almost better if the status quo doesn’t change–that way we are assured to get grand cru quality at a premier cru price!