FIRST GROWTH WINES

First Growth Wines is an Australian specialist importer and seller of
Bernard Brémont Champagnes
  By importing our excellent Grand Cru Champagnes, our prime focus at First Growth Wines is to bring to Australia wines of the best Quality, Value and Distinction.
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Domaine MARCHAND Frères - Gevrey Chambertin


The Domaine Marchand Frères has been in existence since 1813 through seven generations thanks to the union of Pierre Marchand and Marie Jacotier. For most of that time it was based in Morey-St. Denis. In 1983, however, the domain bought a winemaker’s house in the very center of Gevrey-Chambertin, ostensibly for the beautiful working cellars underneath. But Gevrey gradually became the seat of the business, and today Denis Marchand lives in the beautifully restored house and receives guests in the cellars below.
 
"I try to maintain and then progress the quality of our wines by pushing our culture (green harvests, manual leaf removal, harvest by hand, sorting of the fruit ...) and to mature our wines as delicately as possible without manipulating them too much (maturation in barrel for 12 to 18 months without sulphur with a varying proportion of new oak depending on the appellation)."  Denis Marchand.
The domaine has small parcels in some very important vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-Saint-Denis and Gevrey-Chambertin, including premier cru ‘Les Sentiers’ in Chambolle, ‘Le Clos des Ormes’ in Morey and ‘Les Combottes’ in Gevrey. They also have holdings in Grand Cru Clos de la Roche, Griottes-Chambertin and Charmes Chambertin. But production is tiny, 1000 cases here, a few hundred there, mere dozens in the Grands Crus. Marchand Frères is the quintessential Burgundy domaine: small production, high quality.
"The style of this estate is one of femininity and elegance rather than undue weight and power." Clive Coates - The Wines of Burgundy.
“The wines of Denis Marchand are are characterised by their aromatic finesse and their precision and balance. Structure without angularity, power without the appearance of a body builder, favouring the quality of the aromas rather than a cheap and obvious expression. The red wines of this domaine aren’t spectacular, but they possess this deep and refined beauty which is found in the great burgundies.”   Phillipe Boutembourg - Vins, vignobles et vignerons
"The Domaine Marchand Freres does all those things that great producers do to make great wine. Essentially, no pain is spared in the pursuit of quality. Field work and harvest are manual, yields are kept low on mostly old vine stock. The harvest is de-stemmed and the second fermentation takes place in wood barrels of varying ages depending on the appellation and the vintage. Nothing is systematic; everything is thought out to react to the conditions of the year, the harvest and the cellar."  Denis Fenwick - Elden Selections.
Domaine Marchand Frères Gevrey Chambertin "Aux Etelois" 2012  - $74.00 per bottle

Coming from a small appellation butting up against the Grand Crus Griottes-Chambertin, Charmes Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin, this Gevrey-Chambertin ‘village’ lieu-dit ‘Aux Etelois’ is justifiably famous and particularly prized here in the region. It’s what is called a ‘locals’ wine. The parcel is often bottled as a single-vineyard ‘village’ because of its intrinsic elegance.

It has a wonderful perfume of pure Pinot with great oak interaction. It has excellent mouthfeel and length with soft, elegant tannins.
"Reticent, with cherry, currant and spice flavours buried in the dense structure, this requires some patience. Balanced in a youthful way, this is well proportioned and long on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2029."  92 points Wine Spectator Insider, Feb 18 2015.
Vintage 2012
 
The 2012 season in Burgundy was marked by an extended and, as a consequence, poor flowering. Inclement weather and constant rain from April to June resulted in a lot of shot berries. As it turned out this was a positive in a number of ways. Firstly the low crop levels meant the fruit was able to be ripened to full maturity. Secondly the bunches were very loose and the berries had tough skins that allowed good air circulation and protected against the spread of disease. Finally these small berries with their thick skins contributed to a richness and texture that elevated the vintage to one of very high quality.
 
There was little chaptalization in Burgundy in 2012, the phenolic maturity was excellent and the acid levels remained high. This full maturity allowed the use of a higher proportion of whole clusters in the fermentation than is normal. The resulting wines are deep in colour with the concentration and acid support of the 2010s and the refinement and elegance of the 2011s. Most winemakers agree that the vintage is one were the wines express the underlying terroir. They are very approachable young, but have the structure to age extremely well. They are classic burgundies with the only problem being the low yields. This factor, on top of the poor 2011 and followed by another low yielding year in 2013, has contributed to their scarcity and higher prices.
 
That, and the fact that it is recognised as one of the great burgundy vintages.