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Domaine Jean Chauvenet, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Vaucrains 2013

Red Wine from France - Burgundy
Powerful Nuits from a hillside location layered with a generous covering of ripe sweet fruit.
Price: £55.00 Bottle
Price: £330.00 Case of 6
Low stock
Code: BU58021

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Pinot Noir
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • 2026 to 2032
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Côte de Nuits

Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile...
Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle.

The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy that mean more variation than in any other fine wine region.

The appellations that sit above the generic regional ACs in the hierarchy are Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Echézaux and Nuits-St-George. Côte de Nuits –Villages is made from grapes grown at either end of the Côte, where the soils and sites are less impressive. Gevrey-Chambertin is a complete and balanced wine, full and harmonious. Wines from Nuits-St-Georges are the most tannic and, like Pommards, need long maturation. For many Vosne-Romanée is the summit. Its wines have beautiful velvety palates: dense and soft, sensuous and tactile. Chambolle-Musigny is the lightest yet one of the most fragrant wines of the Côte de Nuits. It is perhaps Nuits's equivalent of Volnay; a pretty, fine boned wine with exquisite perfume and a silky palate.
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Domaine Jean Chauvenet

Christophe Drag makes the wines here in a typically chunky Nuits style which benefits immensely from keeping. The 9.5ha domaine has a large slice of village vineyards, over 7ha, together with a lovely series of premiers crus which includes Rue de Chaux, Les Damodes, Les Bousselots, Les Perrières and Les Vaucrains. Les Vaucrains is a majestic wine possessing a great structure and length of flavour.

Recently Christophe has moved to grassing down the rows, a technique which reduces vigour, yield and botrytis all of which has a favourable effect on the quality of the wines. The grapes are destemmed, cold soaked for a few days to extract colour before fermenting up to about 32°C. The wine is then aged in barrel, usually with one racking, for about 18-20 months.

Burgundy Vintage 2013

While there is much to enjoy in 2013, there was considerable weather variation and generalisations are difficult so sub regions are treated separately below.

In the Côte de Nuits succulent, fresh and lifted red wines were made with sweet but unobtrusive tannins and modest alcohol levels. There is enough structure here for mid to long-term maturation thanks to the small size of the crop and the protracted ripening time that the vines enjoyed. Also significant was the preponderance of millerandage, when berries remain small after flowering, which means there is a higher ratio of skin to pulp and few if any pips.

The Côte de Beaune was variable due to hail. As with the Côte de Nuits poor flowering also affected the crop, but it was the hail that caused devastation on 23rd July, in a swathe from Ladoix to Meursault. It has led to losses between 40-100% but overall has meant a halving of the crop. However, there was enough time for some leaves to grow and there was time for damaged grapes...
While there is much to enjoy in 2013, there was considerable weather variation and generalisations are difficult so sub regions are treated separately below.

In the Côte de Nuits succulent, fresh and lifted red wines were made with sweet but unobtrusive tannins and modest alcohol levels. There is enough structure here for mid to long-term maturation thanks to the small size of the crop and the protracted ripening time that the vines enjoyed. Also significant was the preponderance of millerandage, when berries remain small after flowering, which means there is a higher ratio of skin to pulp and few if any pips.

The Côte de Beaune was variable due to hail. As with the Côte de Nuits poor flowering also affected the crop, but it was the hail that caused devastation on 23rd July, in a swathe from Ladoix to Meursault. It has led to losses between 40-100% but overall has meant a halving of the crop. However, there was enough time for some leaves to grow and there was time for damaged grapes to drop and wounds on the vine to heal and still allow time for the fruit remaining to ripen. Reds are fresh and vibrant, and this is a vintage to trade up to premier cru for the greater ripeness that such sites can achieve. Whites in the Côte de Beaune can be lovely, with moderate alcohols and a fresh mineral style. Saint-Aubin, Chassagne, Puligny and Meursault all performed well.

In Chablis the best wines were made from grapes picked before the storm of 5th and 6th October. Those that picked thus have made taut, firm and mineral wines that are classic Chablis. Some who picked after the storm suffered from attacks of botrytis and though a little of such an infection can add a honeyed nuance to the wines too much, can override the subtleties and minerality that one looks for in good Chablis.

Mâcon performed very well in 2013. There were fewer problems of flowering, no hail and only a small amount of botrytis after the storms. There are well-balanced, ripe but fresh whites.
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2013 vintage reviews

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