The 2016 Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru includes around 30% whole bunch fruit. It has a very complex bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, a whiff of sea cave, wet limestone and something from underground (mulch or peat?). The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, pure black cherry and blueberry fruit with a taut, quite linear but tensile finish. This is outstanding, a very sophisticated Chapelle-Chambertin in the making with breeding and intellect, all without shortchanging you on fruit. They’ve done it! “What have they done, exactly," you rightfully ask. Well, Drouhin-Laroze has finally produced a clutch of wines commensurate with their stellar array of holdings. Without wishing any disrespect to Philippe Drouhin, since first encountering their wines in the late nineties, myself and other mavens felt that they were a bit “over-produced.” Maybe picked too late? Certainly they were often burdened with an excessive use of new oak that obfuscated terroir, and when you have half a dozen grand crus under your wing, that is a shame. (NM)
Noticeable if mild reduction detracts mildly from the otherwise ripe and earthy red berry fruit aromas. The rich, concentrated and seductively textured flavors possess an ample amount of extract that buffers the very firm tannic spine and confers a relatively refined mouthfeel on the velvety, balanced and patently persistent finish. This succulent effort should also drink reasonably well young if desired.
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