Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Bousselots 2000
As the end of the year is drawing to a close it is time to kick off my annual end-of-year features, beginning with one of my most long-standing components of this site, my ten-years-on tasting. I will be publishing my notes from this tasting, a smorgasbord of wines from the 2000 vintage, later this week, and in coming weeks I will also be posting notes from not only my twenty-years-on tasting, a Loire-heavy look at the 1990 vintage, but also a new feature, a fifteen-years-on tasting, featuring a host of wines from 1995. And somewhere in the midst of all that will be my Wine in Context feature, this year complete with awards, and I will be expecting regular readers to send me their best wine in context moments too; see last year’s reader’s responses for a rough idea of what’s expected!
Anyway, back to this year, and I thought I would pull out one of my ten-year-on wines as my Weekend Wine; I settled on this wine from Domaine Robert Chevillon, a wine that I found particularly impressive. Perhaps this reflects low expectations, as I wasn’t looking for too much from any of the Burgundies included in this tasting as 2000 wasn’t a stellar year for the region in the way that it was for Bordeaux, for example, or compared to the very superior Burgundies from 1999 and 2002. But this wine was really fine, a testament to the rule that one should follow the domaine in Burgundy rather than the vintage; and Domaine Robert Chevillon, now run by brothers Denis and Bertrand Chevillon, is one such domaine, having a reputation for turning out some very good wines. It is perhaps also of note that this was a very significant vintage for the brothers, for it was in 2000 that they took over complete control of the domaine from their father Robert on his retirement.
The domaine focuses on Nuits-Saint-Georges, with a portfolio of almost 13 hectares of vineyards, including plots in eight premiers crus. The premier cru vineyards in this commune are commonly divided into three different zones, the southernmost section in neighbouring Prémeaux which are sold as Nuits-Saint-Georges, then the section just south of the town itself, running up into the valley above the town, and then the third section to the north, on the other side of the town, abutting at the northernmost end the vineyards of Vosne-Romanée. I would usually have drawn a map to illustrate this, but as the picture above might suggest I have been shovelling snow for much of the weekend, and haven’t quite had time. Sorry!
The northernmost vineyards tend to produce the more elegant wines of the commune, with the more traditionally gutsy examples of Nuits-Saint-Georges coming from the central section, south of the town, whereas those from Prémeaux are generally the lightest of all. Les Bousselots sits in the northern section, on the premier cru slope, but at the end closest to the town; the Chevillons own two such premiers crus in this section, the other being Les Chaignots, just to the north of Les Bousselots. This climat, which has a very good reputation for the northern Nuits style, accounts for approximately 4.2 hectares of the commune, and of this the Chevillons work 0.64 hectares.
As for the wine itself, the 2000 Nuits-St-Georges Les Bousselots from Domaine Robert Chevillon shows a good colour, still a fresh and vibrant red. The nose opens up nicely, showing a full and characterful nature, with some nicely expressed primary traits. There are notes of dark chocolate and game, along with vibrantly fresh cherry fruit, and scents of perfumed, gently-spiced sandal wood. A finely composed palate, with an appropriate and well-framed flesh, a gentle tannic structure and good, well-balanced acidity. Rather sappy, with appealingly sour fruit on the finish, this is a very good wine indeed. Fine, glossy, seamlessly textured, full but well polished. Lots of length, a gritty substance too, there is plenty of potential here for further development here, I feel. But it is also very delicious right now. 17.5+/20 (29/11/10)