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.”
Clos de Vougeot is a walled vineyard that dominates the tiny commune of Vougeot in Burgundy’s Nuits-St.-Georges. The 124-acre Grand Cru vineyard includes a historic chateau that in 1945 was purchased by the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, an organization devoted to promoting the traditions of Burgundy and its wines. The impressive chateau is the organization’s headquarters. Clos de Vougeot was established as a vineyard by Cistercian monks in the 12th century, then sold off to private owners after the French Revolution. The vineyard is unusual for a Grand Cru in that it includes land that runs down to the main road. The soil is light limestone with sand. Principal landowners are Chateau de la Tour, with 13 acres; Meo-Camuzet, 7.5 acres; Rebourseau, 5.5 acres; Louis Jadot, 5.3 acres; and Leroy, 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.