2015 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru

Year: 2015
Appellation: Cote de Nuits
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 97
Wine Advocate: 93-95
Vinous Media: 91+
Burghound: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :

"Though the backbone of this red is solid, this shows a sense of elegance too, along with concentrated flavors of cherry, blueberry and spice. A sheen of oak should absorb nicely into the overall balance. The finish seems to go on endlessly. Best from 2024 through 2048. " (WS)

"The 2015 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru has an expressive bouquet with redcurrant, raspberry coulis, a touch of honey and a hint of Seville orange marmalade. It opens nicely in the glass, though does not slip into fifth gear at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, cohesive in the mouth and quite saline and spicy. There is generosity here, a trait of Charmes-Chambertin, with the mineral core surfacing right at the finish as it fans out. This is an impressive follow-up to the superb 2014 and it should give 20+ years of pleasure.

"The main difficulty we had in 2015 was the drought from mid-June to end-July," Romain Taupenot told me when I visited his winery in Morey-Saint-Denis, directly over the road from Christophe Perrot-Minot. "There was a big concern about mildew pressure. The only way to fight against disease when you farm organically is to use SO2 and at this time, because the heat was high, it started to burn the leaves. So should we keep on spraying and risk, or take the risk of development of mildew whilst maintaining leaf cover? So I used SO2 just once every two treatments in the vineyard. This worked perfectly well except in Saint Romain for the white, where we lost around 30% of the crop. In 2015, as we had a drought with a lot of millerandage. There was some rain in August, but we found the berries did not expand because of the thickness of the skins, so there was a consistent level of concentration. I was concerned about the balance of the wine, especially with the acidity level, but when we picked the grapes from 8 September (in Corton), we noticed from the alcohol level and acidity were under the final result. For example, most of the wines came in at 12.5-12.8% alcohol and 4.2-4.4 grams per liter total acidity, but by the end of the fermentation we went up to 13.9% for the Corton-Rognets and a majority around 13.5%. The Gevrey-Chambertin Village was a bit lower because the drought retarded the sugar accumulation. The yeast was a little more productive in 2015, needing 17.5 grams of sugar instead of 18 grams per one degree of alcohol. We actually found some acidities were higher after fermentation and because the malic was so low, the acidity level did not drop much and this maintained the freshness. Therefore, you do not feel the high alcohol. It's a compromise between 2009 and 2010, because of the heat and precision respectively. Everything is de-stemmed in 2015 with no whole bunch, matured in no more than 20% for the Côte de Beaune, 25% for the village cru and up to 40% for the grand cru with a light toasting from the five different cooperages."

I really admired these wines from Romain and Virginie Taupenot. In some ways, they represent the kind of wines, the level of quality that they have been threatening to do in recent vintages. What I loved was the purity of fruit, the way that any over-exuberance of over-ripeness was mastered, even through relative to other growers, they were exactly the earliest to go out and pick. What marks the 2015s is a consistency across the board: very few barrel samples falling below expectations, most of them surpassing them." (WA)

"Full, dark red but without the ruby tones of the Corton. Deeper-pitched but energetic on the nose, offering aromas of dark plum, raspberry, smoke and underbrush. Then surprisingly opulent and sweet on the palate, with very ripe red fruit and spice flavors complicated by an earthy element. This slightly medicinal wine doesn't show quite the harmonious acidity or refinement I found a year ago, and its dusty, drought-year tannins will require patience." (VM)

"An elegant, fresh and admirably pure nose is notably more expressive with its array of red currant, warm earth and anise-tinged aromas that convey plenty of floral elements. There is once again fine richness to the round, supple and punchy medium-bodied flavors that terminate with notes of bitter cherry and a hint of warmth. This mildly austere effort is lovely and very Charmes." (BH)

Winery Notes:
A vineyard with a gentle slope, the grapes for this wine come from the upper part of Charmes near Morey just below Chambertin. The area of the vineyard is 0.57 Hectares. The average age of the vines is 40 years.