Domaine Jérôme Galeyrand, Billard, Gevrey-Chambertin
From a warmer, single vineyard site between Champerriers and Clos de la Justice in the northern part of Gevrey. The vineyard was planted in 1987 and is mainly made up of deeper, well-drained soil. This wine is usually 100% de-stemmed and is very open and charming as a younger wine.
As you head north-east towards Gevrey-Chambertin, in the small village of Saint Philibert, you will find a small hamlet of what can best be described as industrial sheds. It is in the very last of these that Jérôme has built his new cellars and winemaking facilities. Production is minuscule and very hands-on and Jérôme is aiming to produce wines that speak of their place.
Subtle earthiness, spice, dried flower and cherry. Medium bodied, cherries and floral mouth-perfume, combined with an earthy slightly reductive bass note, tannin is fleshy and pleasantly grainy, acidity quite soft, and a plump and round finish, with spice and poached strawberry in the aftertaste. Good now. Really quite approachable. 92 points, The Wine Front (12/2017).
"While I had a modest preference for the Côte de Nuits-Villages, the 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Billard from Domaine Jérôme Galeyrand is also very good, offering up a sunny bouquet of cherry, summer fruits, sweet spice and cedary oak. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, velvety and richly tannic, with a ripe, sun-kissed profile and a moderately long finish." 88 points, William Kelley - Wine Advocate (April 2018)
"Deceptively medium in body, the 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Billard packs a real punch. Savory and mineral notes make a strong first impression. Today, the Billard is tightly wound and less showy than most of the other wines in this lineup. That won't be a problem in another few years. There is plenty to look forward to." (88 - 90) points, Antonio Galloni (June 2017)
“For fifteen years the Emperor [Napoleon] constantly drank the same wine [Gevrey-Chambertin] , which he liked and which we believed was good for him."
Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène by The Count of Las Cases
Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest wine-producing village in the entire Côte d’Or with the wines typically deeper in colour, with more tannin structure and firmer in body than most red Burgundy. Thanks to the iron-rich clay soils the very best can develop into the richest, biggest and long-lived Pinot Noir - this of course depends on whether the vineyard is located on the steeper slopes or the flatter, richer soils.
Gevrey boasts an impressive nine Grands Crus, with the name of Chambertin retaining a regal omnipresence throughout its finest vineyard names. Chambertin-Clos de Bèze which has the right to sell its wines simply as ‘Chambertin’, and is also the only wine allowed to put the ‘Chambertin’ before (rather than after its own), is considered one of the greats. Quality-wise the next best is generally acknowledged to be Mazis-Chambertin with incredibly concentrated and fine wines, but a little less firm than Le Chambertin. The tiny Griottes-Chambertin, which owes its name to the grill-pan shape of the vineyard rather than the wine’s griotte (sour) cherry aroma, is lower down the slope and boasts a velvety texture and rich fruit reminiscent of Chambertin itself. Gevrey’s largest Grand Cru, Charmes-Chambertin is pure and seductive.
The wines of Gevrey-Chambertin are deeply colored. They have intense aromas of currants and other small red and black fruits, animal notes of musk and fur, and often a touch of licorice after some bottle aging. They are powerful, with balanced tannins, a soft mouthfeel and good acidity. These are generally robust wines.