Philippe Gavignet

Supplier/Importer: North Berkeley Imports

Region: Burgundy, France

Appellation:  Côte de Nuits • Nuits-Saint-Georges

 

The style of Philippe Gavignet Burgundy “brings back” the profound elegance of Pinot Noir to Nuits-Saint-Georges, an appellation often known for more tannic (and often less balanced) wines. Gavignet wines are solid proof that Nuits has the terroir to produce elegant Burgundy but that it requires a conscientious winemaker such as Philippe to craft it.

What first attracted us to this fourth-generation estate nearly more than 20 years ago was the impressive pedigree of Gavignet’s vineyards in Nuits. What you’ll discover with these selections are unquestionably some of Nuits’ most expressive, very-old-vine terroirs, with vines planted as far back as the 1920s.

Yet what’s kept us coming back to this modest cellar is the finesse and harmony of this estate’s honest, hand-crafted wines. Not to mention what an enjoyable experience it is to taste with Philippe, a “salt of the earth” sort of winemaker. He can’t stand pretence; casual but serious, Philippe is a true artisan who is always eager to share with us older bottles to show just how revelatory his old-vine Nuits can be.

Curiously, Gavignet remains an insider’s secret, while “bigger” names in the village garner the attention (and demand ever-higher prices). Yet no other producer even comes close to capturing the true character of this impeccable terroir as does Philippe Gavignet.

Most of winemaker Philippe Gavignet’s Pinot Noir vines are very old, with a majority planted in the 1930s and 1950s. Vineyards are cared for as naturally as possible, avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides. Harvest is by hand; wines are aged in a mix of new and older French oak barrels (with no more than one-third new oak). All wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.