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Average critic rating : 86.5 points
Roty’s 2008 Gevrey-Chambertin Champs-Chenys displays dark berry fruit mingled with licorice, peat, and dark chocolate. a brightly vivacious though metaphorically darkly-flavored palate with firm, fine tannins. and a persistent but slightly awkward finish with hints of oak not knit to the fruit and tartness not entirely buffered. I would want to revisit this before prognosticating as to its potential. Philippe Roty insists that because of his rigorous canopy-management and green harvesting, plus a further late summer crop-drop, rot was not the problem for him in 2008 (or for that matter in 2007). But ripeness, he readily acknowledged, was. “In 2008, we simply lacked 8 or 10 days of sunshine,” he concludes, admitting that he harvested his lesser terroirs first (beginning September 23) and his grand crus last. “Which would you want to make sure ripens, Bourgogne or Charmes Chambertin?” he asked with a rhetorical laugh. This reversal of normal procedure – when taken together with the cautious extraction Roty felt committed to buy unripe pips – resulted in a 2008 collection that is mildly disappointing in its lowest echelons and among village Gevreys, though the Marsannays continued to offer considerable interest for their modest prices, whereas they were decidedly weaker partners in 2007. (Since the 2008 hail in Marsannay hit largely in the Chenove direction, it had little effect on Roty’s locations.) Tasting at the press and halting pressing as soon as bitterness or under-ripeness were detected was, says Roty, another critical factor in rendering satisfying 2008s. Malos – other than two stubborn whites on which Roty simply gave up! – finished here on a normal schedule at the end of their first winter, and thus in no way compromised his plan to as usual bottle the wines in April. I tasted in late February a pre-assemblage set aside for me two weeks in advance of my visit because in the meantime all of the lots had been sulfured in barrel. David Schildknecht Wine Advocate # 189 Jun 2010
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