Gerard Harmand and his son, Philippe, now lead this family-run estate that was established in the late nineteenth century. The domaine encompasses 9 hectares of vineyards, all planted to Pinot Noir and situated exclusively within the boundaries of the village of Gevrey Chambertin. The viticulture is traditional to its core: the soil is turned by tractor and by hand, herbicides are not used, all in the cause of permitting the roots to reach deeply in their search for “terroir”; no chemical fertilizers are applied nor are insecticides used; debudding is practiced to eliminate undesirable growth, a “vendange verte” is done when necessary and the harvest is, of course, manual.
The vinification is equally traditional: the grapes are destemmed 100%, there is a cold maceration extending at times to five days, the cuvaison unfolds over a 15 to 21 day period (depending on the “cru” and the vintage) under temperature-controlled conditions; the wine is then racked into barrel where the malo-lactic fermentation occurs and the wines are aged for approximately 16 months on the fine lees in small oak barrels (a certain percentage of which is new - more new oak for the more important, structured cuvées) before being bottled without filtration. The domaine recommends that their wines be decanted before service.
The Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy offers us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the terroir of Gevrey Chambertin as the range of wines covers many of the most important vineyard sites in this fabled village.
Bourgogne “La Nouroy”
From a quarter-hectare parcel of 30 plus year-old vines planted on the eastern side of the village of Gevrey; vinified a la the family method just like the more prominent appellations with a long, slow fermentation to obtain the fine extracts of pinot noir; this tiny parcel produces just enough wine to afford us access to 100 cases or so per year.
An “uber-classic” Gevrey sourced from multiple small parcels (covering more than four hectares) throughout the village which enables the wine to capture the true nature of this grand appellation; the youngest vines for this cuvée are 25 years of age with the oldest being 80 years old (calculated as of 2011). Rich, yet graceful, this Gevrey shows the wild berry fruit and charming rusticity that are the hallmarks of true Gevrey Chambertin. Depending on harvest levels, there are 100 to 200 cases available annually for the US market.
Gevrey Chambertin “En Jouise”
A lovely wine produced from very old vines (between 60 and 80 years of age); this parcel sits beneath and to the side of Clos Prieur and like its relative neighbors, e.g. Mazis Chambertin, it is a wine of finesse and elegance with silky tannins and a more openly fruity approach. The domaine owns a bit more than a hectare of “En Jouise” making this one of the more important cuvées of the domaine. On an annual basis, we purchase three barrels (900 bottles/75 cases) for the US market.
Gevrey Chambertin “Vieilles Vignes”
As is the case with almost every wine that issues from the Harmand-Geoffroy cellars, this cuvée is the product of very old vines; in this instance, the vines were planted 50 to 80 years ago (as of 2011). The result is one of the most powerful wines in the cellar that shows dark, almost somber fruit, a wine that is reticent in its youth and quite profound with seven to ten years of age. The parcels for this wine (En Champs, Champerrier, Combes du Dessus) are situated just beneath the fine 1er Cru “Les Champeaux” and the wine reflects the sturdy, complex aspect of the vines on the north side of Gevrey, the Brochon side.
Gevrey Chambertin “Clos Prieur”
This wine is from a contiguous parcel that sits astride the Clos Prieur du Haut (classified 1er Cru) and the Clos Prieur du Bas (classified as a village wine); rather than create two tiny cuvées, the domaine prefers to blend the two to make an extra-fine village wine from the lieu-dit “Clos Prieur”. Harmand-Geoffroy owns a bit less than a half-hectare of vineyards in Clos Prieur and the vines therein were planted between 50 and 80 years ago (dated as of 2011). In our opinion, this is one of the finest village wines available from Gevrey; it is elegant yet powerful with a compelling density and ripe, sweet tannins. We consider ourselves fortunate to have access to at least a single barrel (300 bottles) per annum (and we occasionally press our luck and bottle some magnums to extend our holdings of this outstanding wine).
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “La Bossiere” (monopole)
The entirety of this tiny premier cru belongs to the Harmand-Geoffroy. It is situated at the top of the Combe de Lavaux in the northern tier of Gevrey Chambertin in a zone that is slightly colder in climate; thus, the wine is often elegant and austere with notes of wild berries being dominant. This vineyard, encompassing slightly less than a half-hectare, has some of the youngest vines of the domaine (25 years of age as of 2011) and it will continue to gain in importance and depth as these vines age. A source of only 300 bottles for the US market annually.
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “La Perriere”
This premier cru is located just beneath Mazis Chambertin in the southern tier of Gevrey, a zone which typically provides wines of finesse that are graced by silky tannins. Here, we have a wine frequently marked by red fruits, rather than black; a seductive wine of excellent balance. Production is very limited as the Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy owns a mere 3/10 of a hectare; the vines are 45 years of age (as of 2011). We import 300 bottles per year for the US market.
Gevrey 1er Cru “Lavaux Saint Jacques”
This fabled vineyard site, sitting in the heart of the Combe de Lavaux, produces a wine of great breadth and depth with wild berry notes (both red and black), ample body and formidable age-ability. The domaine works almost 7/10 of a hectare, making this 1er Cru one of the most important holdings for Harmand-Geoffroy. The vines were planted between 40 and 90 years ago (as of 2011) so yields are small and the juice quite concentrated. We have access to three barrels plus (900 bottles and some magnums) every vintage.
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Champeaux”
Situated on a rocky face high on the Combe de Lavaux in the northwestern sector of Gevrey Chambertin, the Champeaux produces a wine of great nobility and complexity. The Harmand-Geoffroy domaine exploits a mere 2/10 of a hectare of vines in Champeaux, some of which were planted 80 years ago (as of 2011). We consider this lieu-dit to be amongst the very finest sites in this renowned appellation. We import a mere 300 bottles of this wine annually for the US market.
Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru
The Harmand-Geoffroy domaine works a substantial section of this fine Grand Cru … over three-quarters of a hectare. The vines are between 40 and 70 years of age (as of 2011); they face east and sit on well-drained, marne-infused soil. As is often the case with the Grand Crus in this southern tier of Gevrey, this wine, although powerful, is distinguished and fine with notes of raspberry and red cherry fruit in its youth supplemented with the aromas of violet, rose and clove; a more wild side emerges as the wine ages and pepper, licorice and leather add nuance to this beautiful beast. We import between three and four barrels per annum for the US market (900 bottles plus a significant number of magnums).