This domaine is a favorite of ours because it flies just under the radar – it hides in plain sight - not as famous as some other growers, but their collection of vineyards such as Clos de Beze, Clos de la Roche, and Lavaux St. Jacques is as serious as it gets, and with many older vine parcels in each. Gérard took over from his father Jean, and his daughter Marion now works alongside him and will take over the winery in a few years. The wines are soulful and can be describe as “Burgundy lover’s Burgundy” with delicate color and fruit that intermingles with the sense of earth in each sip. Harvest is done by hand, and grapes are fermented on indigenous yeasts in tank and then aged for some 18 months in mostly older French oak barrels.
‘Champs Chenys’ is directly downslope from grand cru Charmes-Chambertin; Raphet’s rows of vines are located in a small “notch” carved into Charmes (that is, vines are surrounded on three sides by grand cru terroir). Vines range from 35 to 110 years old. I opened one of these in the office of Le Pigeon the day the wines arrived and sat dumbfounded at my desk. Dark cherry, pomegranates, iron, damp earth, and baking space. The wine was darker than the previous vintage in the glass, but with a brighter finish. Smile-educing.