Heresztyn-Mazzini, Gevrey Chambertin

‘There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing …a domaine, ratchet up the quality a few notches—and that is undoubtedly the case here with Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini… will make a perfectly fine substitute if your allocation of Rousseau has been cut, since there are stylistic similarities.’

‘This is a domaine on the move.’ Neal Martin

‘Still (just) under the radar, these are wines to seek out, buy and drink.’ Tim Atkin MW

There are few things new under the sun in the word of fine wine. Especially in a region like Burgundy where there are no shortage of hawks surveying the scene constantly. So it was a pleasant surprise to see a fully-fledged new domaine burst out the traps in 2012, already hitting the high notes, from an apparently standing start. Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini did just that although the 2 protagonists at its heart, it is fair to say, did have previous form: Florence Heresztyn at her eponymously named family domaine and her partner Simon Mazzini who cut his teeth in champagne before meeting Florence. The two of them have made a big splash whichever way you look at it with their brilliant, forward thinking domaine in Gevrey Chambertin and we at Brunswick are the lucky recipients of their flair and tremendous dedication. They are a lovely couple and very nice people it has to be said – honest, serious, contemplative and it might be argued these qualities find expression in their dedication to their vineyard sites and their outlook within the winery. They are not afraid to make changes yet at heart they strive to allow the meticulously cared for vineyards the chance to express themselves first and foremost. The viticulture has been moving towards full organic farming for the last 5 years. The 2014 vintage of Les Goulots was their first totally ‘bio’ wine with the 2015 vintage seeing 80 % of their produce qualify as organic – and the forthcoming 2016 releases will complete their organic conversion fully. This in itself is no guarantee of fame and glory but it does exemplify the care shown at all levels within their 5.5 hectare operation. Taken into consideration alongside their plethora of very old vine stock – even their Clos Village holding in Gevrey was planted in 1952 – their methods are all about producing serious wines yet they have an inescapably bright, fragrant core of fruit to them. Florence, like many of the young generation of ‘up and comers’, is a practitioner of whole cluster fermentation but she tends to add the stems wisely and even in the ripe, warm 2015 vintage this was maximised at between 50 to 60 % depending on the cuvee. 2015 is a growing season that Florence memorably described as “like the holidays”, but hydric stress had to be surmounted and the crucial picking time had to be chosen. In the end Simon and Florence were done by September 12th with vats of ripe, clean fruit moments before the rains came! ‘Lucked-out’ was Florence’s term for their good fortune and she was pleased that the fruit showed good levels of tartaric acidity that bestowed brilliant freshness and energy to the wines. The couple cleverly opted for softer vinifcations with no pigeage in 2015 given the high solids in the fruit and, although they needed a few months to show their stripes, the results are magnificent in the finished wines. The 2015’s are going to be Vins de Garde but the wine press from Atkin to Martin to Meadows to Robinson are all in accord with the quality produced at this address.

The 2014’s are no less impressive and certainly we would describe them as ‘our kind of wines’. It is a year for real Burgundy-philes and suits the couple’s aims to produce fresh, balanced, fragrant long-lived wines. It is interesting to note that for all the press hype surrounding the 2015 vintage that Allen Meadows, hidden towards the end of his January Cote de Nuits report, pretty much expressed a preference for the type of wines produced in 2014 when it came to his own drinking! We agree with his precis of the vintage: ‘the wines really do taste alive in the mouth as they’ve got energy, or what I like to call underlying tension. They’re ripe yet they are what the French call digest, or refreshing, where the first sip invites the next which is in fact what makes them so drinkable…. he best 2014s are going to provide a great deal of pleasure.’ We understand this as lovers of wine that people want to drink not merely collect and the 2014’s below should serve as a wonderful introduction to the domaine and this school of thought. The Gevrey Chambertin V.V. Les Songes may push the ‘legals’ on the label nomenclature but the wine itself is a gem offering juicy, soft, yet exquisitely defined blue/black fruit from 80 year old plus vines. The Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Goulots – the aforementioned first ‘bio’ wine although not labelled as such – is tremendous. From a less well-known terraced site this terroir packed wine exudes character with a ‘wild’ haunting quality backed by gorgeous red fruit. The Millandes from Morey is very much for lovers of perfumed, sensual Pinot Noir – Burgundy-lovers basically! With violets and delicate berry fragrances to the fore it shows up beautifully in 2014 and will drink for the decade plus as you wait for the 2015 to gear up and hit its stride.

Neal Martin in discussing the estate recently had this to say ‘For sure, their name does not quite trip off the tongue like Rousseau or Dugat, but the contents can be described in a two syllable word…yummy‘ going on to praise their Gevrey Chambertins in particular ‘will make a perfectly fine substitute if your allocation of Rousseau has been cut, since there are stylistic similarities.’ Rousseau, mmm? Now there’s an enviable comparison…