2020 Domaine Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Fontenys”, Burgundy, France


A robust, complex Pinot Noir built to age.

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The very, very old vines in the Roty family’s plot of Fontenys have turned out a beautiful wine in 2020. There is a lot of clay in the soil here, which probably helped the vines navigate the vicissitudes of this drought vintage. The wine delivers a superb aromatic constellation of cassis, plums, black cherries, grilled meats, dark soil tones, smoke, cedar and a topnote of raw cocoa. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with a rock solid core, excellent transparency and grip, firm, ripe tannins and a long, complex and very promising finish.  


Domaine Joseph Roty boasts one of the largest concentrations of old vines in Burgundy, averaging about 65 years. The domaine is fanatical about old vines, they have some of the oldest in France, the living ambassadors of the affinity the Roty’s so obviously feel for their land. Coupled with late picking, which further concentrates yields and with fermentation below 30 degrees, and a cuvaison of three weeks, the structure and complexity is consequentially remarkable and the winemaking uncompromising in achieving this. With a little age these wines develop wonderful aromatics with the characteristic Pinot Noir flavours of black cherry and stone fruit. The old vine fruit contributes the length of flavour and great complexity. Roty’s Charmes Chambertin Cuvée Trѐs Vieilles Vignes is largely harvested from vines of over 120 years.

One of the great domaines of Gevrey. Pierre-Jean has taken up the reins and seems to intent on following the families somewhat idiosyncratic, uncompromising path. “Nothing changes” as Madame Roty told us on our last visit. These are not fashion-conscious wines, everything is destemmed, new oak is relatively high, around 50% on the village wines, 60-70% on the Lieux-Dit and 100% on the Grand Cru. They are wines made to age, there is little point opening them young.


Grape(s) Pinot Noir
Farming Organic