2015 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Bel-Air"

SKU #1325448 96 points Wine Spectator

 An impenetrable mélange of black cherry, blackberry, violet and spice aromas and flavors is allied to a silky texture here, saturated with fruit that meshes seamlessly with the iron backbone. Shows terrific grace under power. Best from 2023 through 2040.  (1/2018)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Bel Air, which comes from vines on the same limestone soils as Clos de Ruchottes, has an entrancing bouquet with very pure and airy red cherry, strawberry and mineral scents. There is wonderful transparency here—you can "feel" the vineyard. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, ample freshness and tension with hints of orange ring and quince jus filtering through the red berry fruit. The structure reminds me of a Morey-Saint-Denis and there is plenty of energy lingering on the tart red cherry finish, with a long spicy aftertaste. This is excellent.(NM)  (1/2018)

91-93 points Vinous

 (these high-altitude vines above Clos de Bèze suffer less in hot years and always yield fruit with healthy acidity according to Romain Taupenot): Bright medium red. Captivating perfumed lift to the aromas of black cherry, spices, dried rose, violet and menthol. Pungent red berry flavors are given noteworthy penetration by zippy acidity. Finishes with firm but very well-integrated tannins and lovely lingering perfume. This vibrant, tactile wine, from a healthy yield of 42 hectoliters per hectare, tickles the salivary glands. These vines are situated at essentially the same altitude as the grand crus of Gevrey but are closer to the forest on a steeper slope and receive less sunlight, noted Taupenot.(ST)  (3/2017)

92 points John Gilman

 The 2015 Taupenot-Merme Gevrey “Bel Air” is a bit more reserved in personality than the lovely La Riotte, but it too shares excellent depth at the core and a suave structural chassis and will be a superb wine with sufficient bottle age. The bouquet delivers a fine blend of red and black cherries, a complex base of dark minerality, mustard seed, a touch of gamebird, cedar and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and impressively tangy, with a sappy core, fine focus and grip and a long, ripely tannic and refined finish. 2022-2060+.  (1/2017)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (from a .43 ha parcel). A fresh, ripe and very Gevrey nose reflects plenty of earth, sauvage and humus characters on the dark currant and softly floral aromas. There is a lovely sense of underlying tension and minerality to the dusty, precise and sleekly muscular flavors that culminate in a notably firm but not especially austere or backward finale. This should reward up to 10 years of cellaring yet be approachable after 5 or so. 2023+  (1/2018)

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north.
Specific Appellation:

Gevrey Chambertin

- For many wine aficionados, Gevrey Chambertin is the northernmost end of the true Côte d'Or. The largest of all of the communes, it has 9 Grands Crus (Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Chapelle Chambertin, Charmes Chambertin, Griotte Chambertin, Latricieres Chambertin, Mazy Chambertin, Mazoyeres Chambertin and Ruchottes Chambertin). The best Premier Cru wines come form the vineyards nestled along a hill to the west of the village. The Grands Crus are planted in compacted limestone, while the soils in the rest of the village vary as to their clay content. If we are to characterize broadly, the wines are powerful, muscular and need time in the bottle to develop.