The Quintessence of Classicism in Chambolle: 2016 Francois Bertheau

Posted on: 09/3/19 2:37 PM

Sometimes I am embarrassed at just how much great wine moves through this store. So much that, to be honest, you can forget about remarkable parcels. Such is the case with the soon-to-arrive 2016 wines from Francois Bertheau.

Bertheau makes absolutely breathtaking wines of precision, finesse and delicacy. Looking for power and intense concentration, look elsewhere. Bertheau’s wines are limpid and bright, delicate and floral, subtle and graceful – in short, they represent the quintessence of Chambolle.

I have had many bottles of Bertheau over the years that have sent me swooning. Their purity is, frankly, impressive. The pure red pinot fruits and florality make an intoxicating perfume; the delicate and lacy textures interweave on the finesse-driven palate to create a sort of Platonic ideal of the Burgundy experience.

Burgundy is often talked about in contradictions – impossibly light on its feet, yet with an intensity of flavor and impression of place that seems to contradict that very lightness. Yes, many Burgundies deliver variations on this theme and experience, few do so in quite as astonishingly impressive manner as Bertheau.

When the equation contains Chambolle, Bertheau and 2016, the sum adds up to a strong buy. How strong? Of the 5 wines in the stable chez Bertheau – Chambolle AC, Chambolle 1er Cru, Chambolle 1ers Charmes and Amoureuses, and Bonnes Mares, Burghound awarded his coveted “♥” to all but the Bonnes Mares.

I can’t recommend these wines enough. You really can’t go wrong here.

2016 F. Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny

“Outstanding” “A pretty, fresh and relatively dense mix of both red and blue pinot fruit is cut with discreet spice and floral nuances and in particular violet. The rich, concentrated and delicious middle weight flavors possess a caressing mouthfeel, all wrapped in a lingering and naturally sweet finish. This is more concentrated than usual and should drink well on the younger side if that’s your preference but also age well too.” ♥ – Burghound

2016 F. Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny 1er Charmes

92 pts. “This is also quite spicy but it’s also more perfumed with cool and airy aromas of plum, violet and lavender. Supple, round and utterly delicious and seductive medium weight flavors possess a polished mouthfeel thanks to the moderately firm but fine-grained tannins that possess first-rate depth on the highly persistent and notably firm finish. This notably rich effort is textbook Charmes that should drink well young will need at least 12+ years to arrive at its full apogee.” ♥ – Burghound

2016 F. Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny 1er Amoureuses

93 pts. “A more restrained and beautifully layered nose offers up cool aromas of both red and dark currant, rose petal, clove and a hint of anise. As refined and polished as the Charmes is, the mouthfeel here of the middle weight flavors takes refinement to another level with ample minerality adding a touch of lift to the balanced and superbly persistent finish. This is very classy juice yet make no mistake it will be capable of aging effortlessly.” ♥ – Burghound

Posted in Burgundy List By Ian Halbert