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.
"The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Billard is imbued with notable character and depth. Pliant and resonant in the glass, the Billard offers lovely textural richness and persistence, all in the mid-weight style that is a such a signature here. The 35% whole clusters add striking layers of nuance to a core of dark Pinot fruit. There is plenty to look forward to here. What a pretty wine this is."
90 points, Vinous (July 2019)
“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.