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Heresztyn-Mazzini Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Champonnets 2015

Heresztyn-Mazzini Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Champonnets 2015

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"The 2015 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru les Champonnets saw 65% whole bunch fruit and 65% new oak, and saw no pigeage in this vintage—just remontage. It has a lovely oyster shell scent complementing the black fruit on the nose, beautifully defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, supple in the mouth with crisp acidity, a perfect combination of power and refinement. What a gorgeous wine from the domaine! Dare I say that it must surely be the best they have produced from this premier cru vineyard. Drink: 2018-2035. 93-95 points

There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing a winemaker, a domaine, ratchet up the quality a few notches—and that is undoubtedly the case here with Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini. A decade ago their wines were adequate, but not really fulfilling their full potential. However, Florence Heresztyn and her husband Simon Mazzini are realizing their vision to produce the best wines possible from their holdings. Of course, much of that work has been done where it matters, among the vines whereby half are now tended biodynamically. It's not that they have adopted Rudolf Steiner's tenets that I personally regard as the headline, rather that it is indicative of a winemaker that really, really cares. You just cannot be biodynamic without dedicating yourself 100% and that attention to detail must be applied throughout the entire winemaking process. The domaine intends to apply for certification from 2016.

In the winery, they are improving techniques bit by bit. For example, they increased the whole bunch fruit for most of their cuvées to a maximum of 65% (up to 75% in 2016). Florence confessed that her dream is to make a 100% whole bunch cuvée and she's just waiting for the right growing season and the willingness to take that risk. On the other hand, it is better to not dive in straight away and chuck in all those stems: learn year by year and "feel your way" is far better. "We harvested between 7 and 12 September and we did less pigeage and more remontage, because we did not want to extract too much," Florence told me. "Also, we use special toasting of barrels according to each cru with respect to the Chassin cooperage."

Their 2015s continue the success story from the last two or three years, in some ways in tandem with the ascendance of their close neighbor, Pierre Duroché. Their village crus around Gevrey-Chambertin are very strong this year, in particular their superb Vieilles Vignes Les Songes. Their premier cru Les Champonnets will make a perfectly fine substitute if your allocation of Rousseau has been cut, since there are stylistic similarities and whilst I don't think their Morey-Saint-Denis quite hit the spot, their Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru is absolutely top class. For sure, their name does not quite trip off the tongue like Rousseau or Dugat, but the contents can be described in a two syllable word...yummy."

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (228)