Sérafin – 2019

Update 4.1.2022(18.1.2021)billn

Frédérique Goulley & Karine Sérafin 2020 Domaine SérafinTasted with Frédérique Goulley & Karine Sérafin in Gevery-Chambertin, 25 November 2020.

Domaine Sérafin
7 Place du Château
21220 Gevrey-Chambertin
Tel: +33 3 80 34 35 40

It was Karine’s grandparents who created this domaine in the 1950s.

Her grandparents were Polish migrants who arrived in France a little before the second world war. Karine’s grandfather, Stanislaus Sérafin, originally working as a mason, found the 1950s was a time when many vines were abandoned and that it was possible to buy high-quality vineyard-land with relative ease.

Stanislaus’ son, Christian Sérafin took on the domaine in 1988 but is now officially retired, so it’s his daughter Karine and his niece Frédérique, who’s been at the domaine since 1999, who are responsible at the domaine.

We’ve mainly old vines,” says Karin, “As most were actually planted by my grandparents.” The domaine is producing 9 different cuvées and have 3 Gevrey 1er crus – mainly all sited behind the family house – just across the road from the old château of Gevrey-Chambertin. Karin’s parents took over the running of the domaine in the 1980s, and it was they who instigated the change from selling most of the production in bulk. “The domaine always a style of vin-de-garde, keeping the stems, and keeping more than one vintage in barrel – ‘just in case!’” Even today they keep back about one-third of each-year’s production to propose wines that are closer to drinking or to help if they have a very short vintage. Currently, they are offering some 2004s or 2008s, for instance.

It was Robert Karcher who introduced my father to Robert Parker and the wines that followed paired long extraction and plenty of new oak – these were the next steps and some great scores followed – Parker preferred the barrel tannins to the tannins of the stems. This became the style that was expected in the 1980s and 1990s. At the start of the 2000s we changed – a little – still new barrels but much less toasty, so more in a supporting role than dominating. Our elevage is also a little shorter and less extracted. But everything is still destemmed! The pigeage is less today, we prefer to aerate a little at the end of the vinification, which brings the florals a little more forward. Once, we were the last wave of harvesters but in 2020 we were one of the first!

The domaine covers a total of 5.5 hectares; 1.5 for the Gevrey cuvée and another hectare for the Gevrey Vieilles-Vignes. There’s About 1/3rd hectare for each of the premier crus except Corbeaux, which is nearer 0.5 ha. Father, Christian, used to plough very often as he didn’t want to see any weeds – “We still plough but less often and a few weeds aren’t a problem. For the last two years we have been completely organic but don’t have an interest in the administration required for the AB-label.

Whilst chatting I explained that I always liked the old style of wines for the domaine’s Gerrey’s, but thought the style fit less well with their Chambolle-Musigny – Karine responded with a smile “But our Chambolle is just next to Bonnes-Mares, so its anyway quite a big one!

The markets for the domaine’s wines are quite varied, “so right now that’s a good thing.” In the 1980s the major market was the US, but Asia is very strong these days, particularly Japan and then the UK.

The wines…

The 2019 vintage suits these wines down to the ground. There is complexity, vivacity and deliciousness wrapped up into each of the individual crus. There are some wines here that are worth a special search!

They made about 30% less in 2019 but remain very happy with the quality. They will rack the wines early in January, planning for the first bottlings about 6 weeks later and finishing about April-May…

2019 Bourgogne
Vines next to their Gevrey vines.
That’s a deep nose broad at the base, swirling bringing higher tones too. Silky, wide, fine intensity. That’s lovely

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin
About 10 parcels included here, the majors being Crais and Etelois – this and last using 50% new oak during elevage.
Nice width, faintly oaked, but no toast. Ooh, a burst of energy, of flavour of deliciousness. Depth, layers and just alround involving. Bravo!

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
Mainly next to 1er and grand cru sites plus the Brochon side of Gevrey. 70-75-years-old are the vine-ages on average.
A little oak spice, lots of extra depth and a growing floral if you swirl enough. That’s got plenty of structure but a swirling energy of flavour too. The depth of flavour is augmented with some oak. A very tasty and long flavour… “The 2010 is drinking fine now,” says Karine.

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Corbeaux
Their vines are in a little clos which saved them from the frost in 16 and makes for a slightly different micro-climate.
A little flash of firework reduction then a width of faintly spicy aroma. Ooh, thats a beautiful freshness. A grain of complexity and tannin but completely ripe, no dryness. I love the energy here this will be excellent! And the finish bursts with floral notes – yum!

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Fontenys
Hmm, that’s really airy and elegant, with pretty, pure, fruit and a floral suggestion – super aromatics. Silky, seductive, great wine! I should add, a fine textural but not drying tannin, wide, mouth-watering but still with a layered finishing flavour.

2019 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
Here’s a little more oak spice – more coffee, and flashes of pure dark red fruit. Ooh – wide, supple, lovely intensity. Long delicious and a little mineral. That’s great in the mouth too. More than excellent…

2 premiers from outside of Gevrey:

2019 Morey St.Denis 1er Les Millandes
A massive difference – a large volume of aroma here – rounder, more floral, the oak more hidden. Big in the mouth too, a dryness of tannin framing the flavour but with no grain. Darker, almost licorice in the final flavours. A big wine, for keeping but like the others with fine purity of fruit. Big finishing too, practically Grand Cru level! The last drops in the glass smell particularly lovely…

2019 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Baudes
More elegant, more width, more floral – we are in Chambolle. But with the structure of Bonnes-Mares – I’m joking – but this is big wine of both depth and concentration. Great, great finishing – vibrantly pure and delicious. An excellent 2019 Chambolle.

2019 Charmes-Chambertin
Half Mazoyères – there’s about 0.15 ha of each – quite close to each other. Roughly 85-year-old vines.
Vibrantly floral thats a great Charmes nose. Extra sweetness, extra depth – already easy to appreciate too – very forward, the structure almost all hidden. Possibly the easiest of all these wines to drink now. Thats a beauty – and quite mineral and intense finishing too.

And to finish:

2010 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
Ooh, thats a deep nose, faintly with dried keaves, deep with cherry fruit. An appealing sucrosity, a depth of red-fruited flavour and still some structure too – in the finish this is gorgeously floral – these flowers appearing from nowhere but they are greatfully accepted. Delicious wine.

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