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That time has finally come again! The first tranche of wines from Jean Louis Trapet in Gevrey-Chambertin are here. We often refer to them around here as the "little wines," but in reality that does them a disservice. The quality level at Trapet is extremely high and year after year, the Passetoutgrains and Bourgogne wines are often among the very best that we taste.
Jean-Louis Trapet's family go back seven generations in Gevrey, with considerable holdings throughout the village all the way up to the Grand Crus of Latricieres, Chapelle and Chambertin. In the past, the domaine always produced well-regarded wines; classic and long-lived (if a touch rustic at times). The Trapet family also came relatively late to the practice of estate-bottling their wines (I had the opportunity some years back to drink a Trapet Latricieres-Chambertin 1969 bottled under a negociant label). However, if their cellar practices remained somewhat old-school, the Trapets have shown a tendency for viticultural foresight throughout their history.
Louis Trapet was one of handful of Burgundy estates to seize grafting vines as a solution to phylloxera in the late 19th century. Though the practice was forbidden at the time, it saved his vineyards, which went on to be a source of vine material used to re-plant after the region was devastated. Today, Jean-Louis Trapet has shown a similar sense of prescience. He began conversion to biodynamic viticulture in the mid-nineties, when precious few growers were doing so, and today the estate holds Demeter certification. He has also made a series of adjustments in the cellar, reducing the amount of new oak across the board and increasing the percentage of whole clusters in fermentation.
As a result, the wines that Domaine Trapet is producing today are some of the liveliest in Gevrey. We have been fans for some time. There is always a great sense of energy and drinkability, qualities that are emphasized by the terrific 2019 vintage. The fruit is pure and supple and red, but buoyed by a wonderful vein of acidity. They represent a through-line for the greatness of the region in the last 150 years and what is still to come. We are excited to offer them to you today. Sam Ehrlich
This comes from thirty-year old vines around Marsannay and is a relatively new cuvee at Trapet, produced only since 2016. A little quiet just at opening, this came to life magnificently over the course of 45 minutes. Brambly red fruit and spicy notes up front, with gentle suave tannins and plenty of lift and cut from the limestone. This is quite elegant and will age well for the next five to ten years. Sam Ehrlich
A classic Passetoutgrains, split equally between Gamay and Pinot, from three parcels on the outskirts of Gevrey. The nose here is beautifully expressive from opening, with red fruit vying with damp earth and wood and a nori-like note. On the palate the fruit comes into focus, bright strawberry and cherry around a distinctly chalky spine. I love Passetoutgrains and this is a delight. Sam Ehrlich
Produced from young vines that don't quite make the cut for Gevrey-Chambertin, this is uncommonly good. The fruit here shows more raspberry alongside the classic strawberry of Gevrey and a touch of spice from the thirty percent of whole clusters included in the fermentation. The texture here is quite striking, slinky and full in the mid-palate but narrowing at the backend as the mineral component comes to the fore. This is excellent for the level. Sam Ehrlich
From the Grasses Têtes and Grand Poirier lieux-dits. 10-20% whole cluster fermentation.