How good is Chevillon?

I had a bottle of the 2009 Robert Chevillon Les Vaucrains the other night and it really blew me away. Just amazing, in a stealth kind of way – extremely drinkable, incredibly smooth but at the same time deceptively complex and multilayered with all kinds of spices. The kind of bottle where you are really torn between rushing to your next sip and lingering over it, and the bottle disappears too quickly. One of those wines that is just irresistible and kind of at another level.

This wasn’t my first Chevillon and I’ve always enjoyed them, can’t remember ever having a bad one actually, but this one just stopped me dead (it was my first Vaucrains for whatever that’s worth, previous bottles have been the Vielles Vignes and I think some Roncieres). I am not experienced with the very top end Burgundies but this was better than most Grand Cru I have had. I mean, to be honest it was pretty high up there among all the wines I’ve ever had in my life.

Chevillon used to be a quite affordable wine, and I am happy to have some stashed away, but looking now I see that prices seem to have escalated rather significantly. It is still below the $200 line but no longer the “middle class” Burgundy I remember it as being (although I guess that entire market category is pretty much vanishing). It doesn’t seem to be as famous as some of the more celebrated producers, but what are the views of our Burgundy experts? Is Chevillon one of the top producers in Burgundy? Or did I just hit a lucky bottle?

I used to think Chevillon was a producer that had to be aged awhile, but the recent vintages i’ve had of them have been delicious!

Arguably the best producer from NSG. I have found most of Chevillon’s top crus (except LSJ) from good vintages for 100-130 recently. I’ve drank a lot of 16 NSG VV lately which has been delicious.

really, really good.

I think this is true of a whole lot of Burgundy. To me, almost everything tastes great young. For that matter, even great Bordeaux often tastes great young. You just have to catch it in a relatively narrow window.

Even when Gouges was made in their old, very tannic style, they had a window where the young wines tasted good. Chevillon was never that backward as far as I know.

I had an idea that Vaucrains was one of those old-school tough NSG appellations that might need two decades, but at 11 years old this bottle was just so, so good – both “delicious” fruit and expressing a lot of underlying complexity. Anything but tough, really seductive. Of course, it is a 2009.

but i also think in recent years we’ve seen a trend toward more fruit forward approachable wines from producers.

+1 on this. Faiveley, Grivot, others I can think of. I like it, honestly, and it’s led me to favor post-2008 wines. Been wondering whether there would be traditionalist complaints like we heard in Bordeaux. But to me Burgundy has managed this transition to modern consumer tastes better than Bordeaux, in a way it has moved in the direction of being more refined rather than just “bigger”.

I was hoarding Cailles and LSG with an occasional Vaucrains thrown in before the recent price increase and have more Chevillon than any other red Burg producer. Your description is spot on. Hits a sweet spot for me.

Faiveley and Gouges have explicitly changed style and my guess is the wines will be better both young and old. Young Faiveley is absolutely delicious recently. I’m not sure if Chevillon and others have made more subtle changes but for sure the young wines drink well. I’m never concerned about trying Burgundies within a few years of release.

For older top 3 Chevillon wines, my preference is to Cailles since it seems to have the longest approachable window. LSG and Vaucrains can be grumpy in middle age.

I too enjoy Chevillon’s Cailles over the other. Very delicious wine.

you’ve reminded me to open some older Chevillon. Thanks.

Any thoughts on when the 2011 Chevillon Vaucrains will be approachable? I recently won some for $73 all-in. Gilman’s note and 95 pts made me want try this, but I’m willing to wait on these as needed.

Most excellent producer. Their Vaucrains and Cailles are exceptional.

Had another 2002 Vaucrains last night. Splendid wine of depth, perfume and presence.

+1 but for me the jury is out on the ageability of these wines. Not pointing to one producer in particular, but certainly the last years, there is a real strong tendency towards “infused” as opposed to “extracted” wines.

That [cheers.gif]

I agree with c fu and others. Chevillon was always a good producer of NSG, but the older style indeed needed time in the cellar. However over the last years (10+y?) the winemaking has shifted a bit towards earlier accessibility without compromising the intensity and depth.
Top producer? Certainly in NSG - and also among the Cotes-de Nuits 1er Cru range - nevertheless it´s still a difference to the top Grand Crus and some star producers like Leroy, DRC, Rousseau, Liger-Belair, Meo-Camuzet, Mugnier and others - also price-wise.

Really good producer. Do not overlook their Chaignots. Can be found for less than $100!

I think Chevillon is a really good producer and was really a value wine in the past. It is my second biggest holding of Burgundies at 127 bottles for 23 different wines.