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Domaine Chevillon, Pinot Noir & Gamay, Bourgogne Passetoutgrain, Burgundy, France 2018

Domaine Chevillon, Pinot Noir & Gamay, Bourgogne Passetoutgrain, Burgundy, France 2018

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1/3 Pinot Noir, 2/3 Gamay

45 year old vines in clay and limestone soil. Wine bottled after approx. 16 months of aging.

It says something about a domaine when, year in and year out, it produces a wine that stands apart from its core cuvées. Domaine Chevillon, for instance, is one of the most respected Pinot Noir producers in all of Burgundy, tending premier cru vineyards whose names, when uttered, make lovers of Nuits Saint Georges salivate. Of the fourteen cuvées Chevillon produces, ten bear the name Nuits-Saint-Georges. 

And yet, when you enter the Chevillons’ cool, old cellar, you’ll notice not all the barrels have “NSG” written on them. A few are marked instead with “PTG,” containing a nectar that is not fully, or even mostly, Pinot Noir. Inside these barrels of Passetoutgrain, you’ll find a rare blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir.

That is no typo. Gamay has an extensive, but overlooked history in this region where Pinot Noir reigns. The latter, after all, has tended to yield wines that can be aloof or austere in their youth. Enter Gamay, a grape whose wine charms from an early age. Burgundians of old no doubt vinified Gamay on its own, but over time, Passetoutgrain emerged, combining the structure and depth of Pinot Noir with the cheerful spirit and elegance of Gamay.

Today, awareness of Passetoutgrain has largely faded, but if you look closely in cellars throughout Burgundy, you’ll notice many of the greatest domaines continue to uphold this tradition despite the fact that they could make more money by ripping out their Gamay and planting Pinot Noir in its place.

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