2012 Chambolle-Musigny, Les Lavrottes, 1er Cru, Olivier Bernstein, Burgundy
burghound.com - Apr 2015
Neal Martin - 30/10/2015
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - 13-Jan-2014
About this WINE
Much has changed in Burgundy, both economically and climatologically, since Olivier Bernstein began his eponymous project with the 2007 vintage. Yet the aim here remains essentially the same: to produce wines of the highest possible quality and to forego nothing in a quest to create elegant, sensual and refined wines that can sit comfortably among the top wines of Burgundy.
It is this quest for perfection that has seen Olivier cease production of two of his Premiers Crus in order to focus on his domaine holding in Champeaux, and the seven Grands Crus which are now well established in the range: Charmes-Chambertin; Mazis-Chambertin; Chambertin Clos de Bèze; Chambertin; Clos de la Roche; Bonnes Mares; and Clos de Vougeot.
Chambolle produces the most elegant wines in the Côte de Nuits, having more active chalk and less clay in the soil than the other villages. The wines may be a little lighter in colour and less tannic than Gevrey-Chambertin but they have a sublime concentration of fruit. Village Chambolle-Musigny usually provides excellent value.
Le Musigny is one of the top half-dozen vineyards in Burgundy, producing wines of extraordinary intensity and yet with a magical velvety character. Les Amoureuses is immediately appealing, a wonderfully sensual wine which deserves Grand Cru status. Bonnes Mares tends to have a firmer structure and ages very well
- 94 hectares of village Chambolle-Musigny.
- 61 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (24 in all). The finest vineyards include Les Amoureuses, Les Charmes, Les Fuées, Les Baudes and Sentiers.
- 24 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard - Bonnes Mares and Le Musigny.
- Recommended producers: de Vogüé, Mugnier, Roumier, Barthod.
- Recommended restaurant: Le Chambolle
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
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The vines here are the youngest in Bernstein's portfolio however the situation of the vineyard, just beneath Bonnes-Mares, is compelling. The entire vineyard is less than one hectare and Olivier Bernstein is the only producer to bottle a wine from Les Lavrottes. The 2012 displays a dense purple colour with floral notes overlaid with a trace of barrel toast. Ripe dark cherry fruit swells on the nose. There is surprising weight to this on the palate with lovely perfume and purity. Overall the wine offers a classical Chambolle-Musigny sensuality.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director
The wines of Burgundy - perhaps more than any other region - are a product both of place but also of people. With individual vineyard plots often split amongst countless producers, the terroir expressed in a wine can be unusually specific; equally the style of the winemaker can be readily discerned when tasted against his neighbours.
Back in 2007, Jasper Morris MW - Berry Bros. & Rudd's Burgundy buyer, who lives in the region for most of the year - heard whispers about a new producer, whose wines were said to be universally impressive. Jasper duly sought out Olivier Bernstein and tasted his portfolio: ''It was terrifically exciting to come across a brand-new quality producer in the Burgundy market, and to taste wines of such class from his very first vintage,'' says Morris.
''Now, five years on, Olivier has matured into a confident player with his Premiers and Grands Crus wines of the CÃ´te de Nuits.'' Since Berry Bros. & Rudd first offered Bernstein's wines with the 2007 vintage, Olivier's reputation in the UK and worldwide markets has steadily grown. We are delighted that the 2012 vintage - unquestionably Bernstein's most refined and well-composed offering to date - will be available to the UK market exclusively through Berry Bros. & R
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