2018 Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru "Tres Vieilles Vignes", Burgundy, France

Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it's extraordinarily sumptuous and concentrated, framed by velvety tannins that caress the palate, and underpinned by lively acids, concluding with a long and expansive finish.



The Rotys make a number of village wines from Gevrey-Chambertin, some labeled by their lieu-dit, but it’s their Charmes-Chambertin that is virtually always the star of the line-up. It’s a bottling with a fervent cult following. The Roty Charmes have long been legendary in the village of Gevrey-Chambertin, even by producers who have had little or no contact with the family.

Joseph Roty once posited that the distinctive character of Griottes-Chambertin owed in part to a meteorite landing at the intersection of what is now Griottes, Charmes and the premier cru Champchenys during the Jurassic period. As a result, he told me, the soil here is “hotter” and richer in iron, generally bringing fruit with higher sugars and a licorice flavor. (In fact, one of Roty’s three parcels of Charmes-Chambertin is situated just to the south of Griottes.) Alas, Joseph Roty’s meteorite theory has not been confirmed by anyone else in Gevrey-Chambertin.


Domaine Joseph Roty boasts one of the largest concentrations of old vines in Burgundy, averaging about 65 years. The domaine is fanatical about old vines, they have some of the oldest in France, the living ambassadors of the affinity the Roty’s so obviously feel for their land. Coupled with late picking, which further concentrates yields and with fermentation below 30 degrees, and a cuvaison of three weeks, the structure and complexity is consequentially remarkable and the winemaking is uncompromising in achieving this. With a little age these wines develop wonderful aromatics with the characteristic Pinot Noir flavours of black cherry and stone fruit. The old vine fruit contributes the length of flavour and great complexity. Roty’s Charmes Chambertin Cuvée Trѐs Vieilles Vignes is largely harvested from vines of over 120 years.

One of the great domains of Gevrey. Pierre-Jean has taken up the reins and seems to be intent on following the family's somewhat idiosyncratic, uncompromising path. “Nothing changes” as Madame Roty told us on our last visit. These are not fashion-conscious wines, everything is destemmed, new oak is relatively high, around 50% on the village wines, 60-70% on the Lieux-Dit and 100% on the Grand Cru. They are wines made to age, there is little point opening them young.


Grape(s) Pinot Noir
Farming Organic