Denis Bachelet


DSC04290Tasted in Gevrey-Chambertin with Denis Bachelet, 18 May, 2014.

3, Rue de la petite issue
21220 Gevrey-Chambertin

I’ve been buying the wines of this domain since 1998 but, for various reasons, this was my first visit chez Bachelet. The domaine is a very anonymous building at the corner of the main street (D974) in Gevrey. The building was erected in 1740 and served for generations as the post-office of Gevrey-Chambertin. I won’t do a potted history of the domaine, because frankly it would be a Herculean effort to try to improve on the one by done by Ola Bergman (here) last year – though I have to say, I didn’t spot the Belgian accent 😉

The 2012s were only just bottled and Denis didn’t think they would show well, so we took a quick tour of his 2013s – not so easy as the malos had only just started – they are usually later in this cool cellar.

Denis on 2013 yields:
“Versus many parts of the Côte d’Or we were lucky with our yields. The Bourgogne is a little down due to rot, but the rest of the yields I’d describe as ‘correct.'”

2013 Côte de Nuits Villages – just a super wine in the making – very deeply coloured.
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes – similarly impressive wine, made from the grapes of (now) 85 year-old vines.
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Evocelles – a new cuvée since 2011, just 3 barrels. Gorgeous aromatics and super length.
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Corbeaux – hmm, too much malo to comment.
2013 Charmes-Chambertin – a finish of just gorgeous depth – place your orders now!

The cellar isn’t large enough for two vintages at once, so Denis already plans that his bottling should be around February/March – depending on the phase of the moon.

I had to introduce the subject to get Denis’s thoughts on pyrazines and by extension, pyrazines in his wines. He understands and seems to support the taint-link with coccinelle in 2004 but was unhappy that I suggested it could also be found in 2011 – “but we didn’t have coccinelle in Gevrey in 2011” he asserts. I mentioned the tasting that I ran for the Circle of Wine-Writers in May, and that blind, 25 from 26 tasters (I wasn’t included in either number) said his 2011 Côte de Nuits Villages had the taint. Denis marched straight to his bottle store and opened an unlabelled 2011 CdNV – it seemed to me perfect and without a trace of the pyrazine taint.

Was I insensitive that day? I have no idea, but I’ve tasted 5 different bottles of that 2011, all from the same source and they were very consistent. The 6th from the cellar of Denis was fine. I’ve no explanation.

I hope that Denis is still talking to me!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “Denis Bachelet”

  1. dweiss17th March 2021 at 4:11 pmPermalinkReply

    Dear Bill
    The Pyrazine-Problem chez Bachelet I know very well and it was very consistent between 2010 and 2013. Every of many many bottles, buyed au domaine and tasted at home had this taint (but from cask the tasted excellent). As a client for many years I confrontated him with this issue 3 years ago. He told me, and I think that‘s plausible, that his former Tonnelier, as he said an alcoholic from Gevrey, heatend the wood way too much. Should not happen to a producer of this reputation and when even his Charmes 2013 was undrinkable we have to think things over…


    P.S. Very glad you posted this, due to this i had also contact with Allen Meadows – nothing he could complain of….

    • billn17th March 2021 at 9:28 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Dominik
      I have a friend who buys commercially from Denis and he confirms that all is fine now but he firmly believes that there was a problem for a while.
      Unfortunately, I haven’t (it seems) been able to visit since this report – maybe he will have me back in the future. I was certainly once a strong fan and buyer of his wines.
      Allen is an excellent taster but is not sensitive to pyrazines – just like 90% of people. So for 90% of people Denis’s wines never had a problem…
      My thanks and best wishes

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