2017 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras (750ml)
93-95 points Wine Advocate
The 2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras unfurls in the glass with a youthfully reticent bouquet of raspberries, cherries, rose petal and orange rind. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, satiny-textured and multidimensional, with stunning depth and concentration at the core, mouthwatering acids and a searingly intense, mineral finish. This is a stunning Cras from a masterful winemaker at the peak of her powers.
Ghislaine Barthod picked early, beginning on September 2, and she has produced one of the most successful 2017 portfolios to be found in the Côte de Nuits. It would be difficult to overstate my admiration for this small, 5.86-hectare domaine, a source of deep and intense but beautifully transparent wines that are invariably strikingly defined by site. While the quality of Barthod's wines is well known, I can't help thinking that were she to possess a parcel of Les Amoureuses ("my dream," she says) or Musigny, these bottlings would be still more ardently pursued. Readers able to source a few bottles certainly shouldn't hesitate.
Winemaking here is simple: destemmed and whole cluster grapes are layered in the fermentation tanks and vinified with ambient yeasts; macerations are classic, with pumping over and punching down; and after pressing, the wines mature in barrels, some 20-25% of which are new—principally from Tonnelleries Rémond and François Frères—for some twenty months. Barthod fans will be interested to note that in 2017, at the instigation of her son, Clément, Barthod elected to vinify apart two small parcels of premier cru that have been habitually blended into the Chambolle AOC bottling. There are thus one-and-a-half barrels of Les Sentiers and three of Les Noirots, the latter a particularly welcome addition to a range which is surely the most complete tour of Chambolle's diverse terroirs that can be found along the Côte WK (1/2019)