Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2006
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A dense, almost heavy wine, with smoky, licorice flavors that dominate the fruit. It is firm, big, solid, the sort of wine that demands attention with its concentration and powered structure. It may need time for aging, but already the power and weight are there.
Maison Champy is the oldest wine company in Burgundy boasting a history dating back to 1720. The winery, which has been declared a historic monument by UNESCO, was designed by the famed architect, Gustave Eiffel and sits above an ancient 15th-century Jacobian monk cellar, where the wines are aged in the heart of Beaune. It was at Maison Champy where renowned scientist, Louis Pasteur set up a laboratory and developed the pasteurization method. When Pasteur published his findings, he gave special thanks to fourth-generation Beaune wine merchant, Claude Champy. Pasteur’s laboratory equipment can still be seen today when visiting the Maison. Maison Champy owns 52 acres of vineyards, including holdings in Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, Clos de Bully in Pernand-Vergelessess, and Beaune 1er Cru Aux Cras. These prized vineyards, among others owned by Champy, are farmed organically in order to showcase the true character of the terroir in the wines. The winegrowing team at Champy has worked together for many years with the goal of crafting the best possible expression of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from each unique terroir. Winemaking is led by Dimitri Bazas who, as Technical Director and Oenologist, has been custodian of the wine styles for more than 20 years. Vineyard management is under the watch of Francis Simon, also with two decades of experience with the Maison, and Cellar Master José Ramalho is Champy’s longest-tenured employee, having tended the barrel program for 35 years. Together the team brings their passion, experience, and expertise to each vintage, from vine to bottle.
This small village is home to the Grands Crus in the farthest northerly stretches of Côte de Nuits and is famous for some of the deepest and firmest Burgundian Pinot Noir.
Gevrey boasts nine Grands Crus, the best of which are arguably Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. As with all of the fragmented vineyards of Burgundy, it isn’t easy to differentiate between the two, which are situated adjacent with Clos de Bèze slightly further up the hill than Le Chambertin. Clos de Bèze has a shallower soil and if you’re really counting, may produce wines less intense but more likely to charm. Some compare Le Chambertin in both power and plentitude only to the prized Romanée-Conti Grand Cru farther south in Vosne-Romanée.
Two other Grands Crus vineyards, Mazis-Chambertin (also written Mazy-) and Latricières-Chambertin command almost as much regard as Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. The upper part of Mazy, called Les Mazis Haut is the best and Latricières-Chambertin offers an abundance of juicy fruit and a silky texture in the warmer vintages.
Other Grands Crus are Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyères-Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin.
The most respected Pinot Noir wines from Gevrey-Chambertin are robust and powerful but at the same time, velvety and expressive: black fruit, black liquorice and chocolate come into play. After some time in the bottle, the wines are harmonious with bright and sometimes candied fruit, and aromas of musk, truffle and forest floor. These have staying power.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”