1998 Truchot Charmes Chambertin

Remarkably light in color and starting to brick. Exquisite aromas of forest floor, game, mushrooms and hints of red berries. After two hours, the perfume continues to soar from the glass. This is superbly balanced, enhanced by a sensuous mouthfeel and a subtle taste of violets that lingers on a long finish. The tannins were a bit harsh in a bottle drunk soon after release, but they are now fully resolved and well integrated. Of the seven bottles I’ve drunk of this wine, five were excellent.

What year did Truchot start using new oak on the Charmes. Anyone know?


I think it was early 90s. He needed some new oak each year so he used it first on the Clos de la Roche, then after the early 90s sometime he switched to the Charmes. When young, you can tell that the oak is there, but I have never noticed it on a wine with even a few year’s age. My favorite Truchot is the Clos de la Roche, but not because of the oak in the Charmes.

I don’t remember the details but I think I read some year that he sold some Charmes to a negociant who aged it in new oak and the wine won some gold medal or something and then from that point on Truchot started putting the Charmes in new oak every year. I could be remembering this wrong though.

I’m pretty sure the outstandingly fine Laurent Charmes VV used to come from Truchot.

Berry…no idea when he started, but I first visited in November 1985, and tasted and bought some '83 Clos de la Roches and Charmes (and still have a couple bottles). There was, I’m pretty sure, some new oak used on them both.

Parker’s 1990 book reports that Truchot used 1/3 new oak and more on the grands crus. Burgundy: A Comprehensive Guide to the Producers, Appelatio - Robert M. Parker - Google Books

I can’t locate my notes on visits in the '80s, so…

To the best of Jacky’s recollection when I wrote an article on the history of his domaine back in 2006, the first vintages where he used new oak were in 1994 and 1995, when he used new wood for the Clos de la Roche. Subsequently, he switched the new wood over to the Charmes-Chambertin bottling and went back to older barrels for the Clos de la Roche. He would use one hundred percent new wood for whichever of the grand crus he was targetting for new wood, but then rack them out of the new wood halfway through the elevage to the old, neutral barrels he preferred through most of his career. So does this equate to 50% new wood for the Clos de la Roche in '94 and '95 and subsequently for the Charmes? He also mentioned that he would occassionally use any leftover new barrels (if the crop might be short) for the Clos Sorbes bottling, but this was of course not systematic. He did sell some Charmes to Dominique Laurent, and Monsieur Laurent would also get one barrel (of the precious three) of Jacky’s Gevrey-Chambertin “aux Combottes” in the last years of Jacky’s career. I suspect that the new wood was not exclusively at the suggestion of Monsieur Laurent, as I recall his American importer, Peter Weygandt also suggesting to Jacky that a bit of new oak for the grand crus would not necessarily be a bad thing in the early 1990s. Perhaps it was the combination of Peter’s suggestion and the success one of his Charmes bottlings sold off to Monsieur Laurent that finally got him to use a bit of new wood for the grand crus. But Jacky also recalled the story of the Laurent Charmes VV sourced from him winning a comparative tasting back in the mid-'90s.

All the Best,


So how are these Laurent Charmes ? Are they substantially different than Truchot labeled wines ?

So, Laurent was buying wine, correct. I’ve been curious to know if Laurent would later rack out into new barrels after the point of reception. If he left them alone, I can forecast a run on these bottles

I’ve no idea , Ray. I’ve had quite a few Truchot wines but only one Charmes, rather criminally the 05. I’ve had the Laurent in several vintages and it’s always been a wine of exceptional purity and sapidity, with none of the bruising high toast effect common in the less successful Laurent wines(though I’m now almost sure that this is a reduction characteristic rather than what it seems).

That is interesting Tom. I’ll be placing some calls tomorrow. Which years of Laurent Charmes did you try? They seem to be easy enough to find here and the adjacent country, Paris. As for his other wines, I was under the impression that he was a proponent of 100% new oak on the first and latter part of elevage. From what I tasted when getting into Burgundy, I tried a bunch of his wines and they always seemed heaped with oak…but the price was right at the time

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the great lineup of 2010s yesterday. From what I know, Monsieur Laurent would rack the wines into new barrels once he got them in his hands- he may have even given Jacky the barrels ahead of time. They will be Truchot wines, but oaky ones. That said, I was very suprised by one of his 1996s in my tastings for the article on that vintage- it had eaten up its new wood seamlessly and was really very good. Would love to think that both the Charmes and Combottes did the same thing, given how special those raw materials would have been.

All the Best,


Is Laurent Charmes solely from Truchot or was it blended with wine from other producers. Same question with Combottes.

Thanks, John! My pleasure. Glad you liked them.

And thank you for the information. Was this on your Truchot article? I’ll have to go back and read it again. Might as well try a few of the bottles with some friends here just to see how they are showing. I’m interested enough for more of his wines that I’ll take a look

Speaking of truchot, have you seen the bids on acker’s online auction today?

What is happening Maureen. Are you selling more Truchot?

not me but I wish it were me - did you see those crazy prices?

Wow. I was watching that but was surprised at how high some of those ended up at. Glad I bought my 2001 Clos de la Roche for what I did. Time to have the “sell it, it’s only grape juice” discussion with my wife I guess…

95,98,99,00,01, Ray. All really fine and showing vintage characteristics in a particularly acute way. Some Laurent wines are really great,and some, even with the same label, hugely disappointing, though I think there is no finer source of the most modest regional appellations.
I’m concerned that people pay so much for Truchot now in some ways because the wines were expressly made in such a non-expensive way, gentle, unforced and undemonstrative, and high prices irreversibly change their meaning. Incidentally I hear the Duband style has change completely and is now worth a look.

Thanks Tom,
I’ll have a look. I’ve tasted a few of these in early 2005, but cannot remember which. Some of the wines were oaked up, others fine. Also, there is a black label and a cream label. Which have you tried? I am looking at some 99s and 01s. And I agree on the pricing. I’ve bought some that were hyper cheap and others that were expensive. I figure it balances out. Also, when I now see an unknown that has inexpensive wines, I make sure to take a healthy amount home.