Domaine Jerome Chezeaux
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Country of Origin: France
Location: Nuits-Saint-Georges, Côte de Nuits
People: Jérôme Chezeaux & daughter Lyse Chezeaux, Owners & Winemakers
There are others in our Burgundy portfolio that are more famous but none who are producing more consistently outstanding wine in a style that is simple yet strikingly classic. Jérôme Chezeaux is to red Burgundy what Ernest Hemingway was to writing. His wines are spare, clean, honest and true. There is no flash, no show, just the fine expression of clean, ripe fruit harvested from a dazzling array of superbly sited vineyards. This jewel of a domaine is a study in the compelling nuance to be found in the best of the southern tier of the Côte de Nuits. This is a domaine worthy of your attention, particularly so at this point because it exists under the radar and the wines remain reasonable in price.
The Chezeaux domaine was built on the foundations of an estate owned since 1930 by Julien Missery. Bernard Chezeaux acceded to the ownership of the domaine in 1971 selling most of the wines produced there to negociants during his reign. On his untimely death in 1993, his son, Jérome, took over the direction of the domaine. Jérome’s intention was and is to increase the amount of wine bottled at the estate.
The estate, which is based in Prémeaux-Prissey just south of Nuits-Saint-Georges, owns approximately 12 hectares of vineyards, some of which were brought into play from the family holdings of Jérome’s wife, Pierrette. The vineyards, impeccably tended according to the principles of lutte raisonnée, are scattered throughout the villages of Prémeaux, Nuits Saint Georges, Vougeot and Vosne Romanée and include a series of the most elite lieu-dits in the zone.
Jérôme Chézeaux strictly follows the most traditional of methods in the cellar being firmly non-interventionist. The purity of his wines is revelatory; there is an understated majesty to every offering in the portfolio. After a manual harvest, the grapes undergo a cold maceration of 3 to 4 days and the entire cuvaison extends for approximately three weeks. During that time remontage and pigeage are practiced; the extent to which both techniques are used depends on the structure of the vintage. Indigenous yeasts are used exclusively, and malolactic fermentation occurs in small oak barrels during the extended elevage. Each year between a quarter and one-third of the barrels are replaced, which means that the wines are exposed at most to 30% new oak. The wines are bottled without filtration between 18 to 24 months after harvest.