Domaine Bachelet, Gevrey Chambertin 2004

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Burgundy 2004, by all reports, appears to be a mixed vintage; hail in June in some areas, odium mildew, and a wet cold August. Vintage charts are so reductive as to be almost worthless and this wine proved the point.

The colour showed ageing on the rim, being slightly brown, but the body of the wine was still a youthful red hue. There was some viscosity but not a great deal (13% ABV). The nose was pleasantly vegetal, rich and sweet with darker fruit notes but beguilingly aromatic. Like many Pinots the nose is so very attractive and you hope the taste matches it.

The palate had a definite menthol quality, being savoury and lighter than the nose led you to expect. It was not particularly firm or even restrained – it faded in the mouth, if anything – which convinced me it came from either the Beaune or even New Zealand. But no, it was a northern Burgundy.

The wine was made from old vines and unfiltered.

Good wine in an indifferent vintage which, I suppose, is the hallmark of a fine winemaker.

[Richard: another ‘Burgundy mystery case’ purchase from the WS, in 2012. Around £30 I would guess. Lots of positive comments online, which prompted me to open it. I didn’t like it quite as much as, for example Decanter (‘…bright, fresh, spicy and vigourous…’) but thought it pretty good and better than many we have tried.]

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