Gerard Raphet owns or leases 30 acres in Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits. He officially took over the family domaine in 2002 when his father Jean Raphet retired, although Gerard had been in charge of the vineyards for many years. The domaine includes important Grand Cru parcels in Clos de Vougeot, Charmes Chambertin, Clos de Roche, Charmes Chambertin and Clos de Beze. There are also Premier Cru parcels in Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey-Saint-Denis. Clive Coates has written that the domaine’s wines are often “rich, full, plummy and succulent. Since Gerard has been in command, the yields have been tightened up, and the proportion of new oak increased.”
Charmes-Chambertin is a 78-acre Grand Cru vineyard in Gevrey-Chambertin that traditionally includes the acreage of nearby Mazoyeres-Chambertin. For nearly 200 years the growers of Mazoyeres have been legally allowed to sell their wines under the more famous name of Charmes-Chambertin, and virtually all of them do. Charmes-Chambertin is the largest of the Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Crus, and it generally has an excellent reputation. The slope of the vineyard is gentle and the surface soil poor. But producers including Joseph Roty, Christian Serafin, Domaine Dujac, Faiveley and Joseph Drouhin are acclaimed for their Charmes Chambertin. Principal landholders are Camus, with 14.75 acres; Perrot-Minot, 4 acres; and Armand Rousseau, 3.5 acres.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.