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2020 Vintage at Domaine Trapet in Gevrey Chambertin
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A unique year…

Patience at work!

2020: a year that will make an impact!

” While the whole world is confined and puts its life on hold, the vine, constant and majestic, continues its development impassively. At its side, the winemaker watches, vigilant, concerned about its development.

If 2019 had already marked historically mild winters, winter 2020 confirms this trend and is breaking records again. Winter is well watered, which allows the slightly low water tables in 2019 to recover quickly.

Driven by such conditions, the first buds are more present and turn the vineyard a shiny green. In a few weeks and from the end of February, nature accelerates, and the vine “« chaudoie» (term used by the winegrowers of Gevrey to point out the visible buds’ development on the pruning wire). This burst already opens the prospect of an early vintage.

During April, precocity is activated. We will remember for a long time a sunny confinement and a month of May at temperatures worthy of June. Our twining plant enjoys the rare rainfall. Flowering does not take long to start from mid-May. It is very fast and consistent. On May 25, the very special scent of small inflorescences soon dissipates, signalling the start of fruit ripening. At this stage, diseases are rare, with no mildew and very little powdery mildew.

Our serene winegrowers’ energy intensifies, nothing will be too good to accompany this nascent vintage.

The month of June is, however, a little more alarming. Many storms burst, in the distance, on Meursault and closer to the north of Gevrey…

Summer is finally here, hot and dry. It envelops everyone with its beneficent warmth. The first long-awaited berries, fruits of the year’s work, quickly appear, offering themselves to the contemplative gaze of the happy winegrowers with the job done.

At the beginning of July, the small berries begin to change colour. Their beautiful purple- blue colour confirms the impressive earliness of the vintage. The sunshine in July is much higher than average, with more than 320 hours compared to a normal of 150 hours. Average temperatures are approaching 22°, one degree higher than usual.

However, the dreaded drought worries us. Substantial differences in the developmental stage begin to appear. These inequalities, more or less marked depending on both, the age of the vines, and the ability of our soils to manage water, will be found at harvest time.

On a human level, the heat wave of the week of July 19 forces us to organize our work differently; We will start first thing in the morning! The extreme temperatures we experience influence the end of ripening, which extends in length.

We know that we will have to be extra patient during the harvest…

Finally, on Wednesday, August 22, a saving rain begins to fall in abundance, the vines revel in it, and maturity is advancing rapidly.

Everything comes at the right time for those who know how to wait… For the sensitive winegrower, now comes the time for waiting, meticulous exploration and analysis.

Observation is essential to estimating the optimal harvest date as the harvest approaches. The true culmination of a long year of work, the choice of what was formerly called the “ban des vendanges” is essential and fundamental. This date initiates the long process of revealing our terroirs.

In the family, the ritual is unchangeable. We go into the vineyard in small squads to taste the beautiful grapes from our different locations. From South to North, we move quickly to “chew” the blue grapes full of sun. The technique is simple but requires some practice. In the mouth, it is necessary to clearly differentiate between the tonicity and the tannicity of the skin, the sweetness of the pulp and the astringency of the pips. From the colour of the pips to that of the stalk, passing through the ease of detachment of the brush between the pedicle and the berry, each clue is scrutinised with the greatest attention. These signs give us reasonably precise information on the advancement of maturity.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Well, the taste of the Gevrey Champerrier grapes has changed, Pierre and Louis note together… Harvest early, harvest late, recalls Jean Trapet.

The nature of this unique vintage, therefore, invites us to be patient… We decide to start on Wednesday, August 26, with some of our new vines in the Côte de Beaune. At that time, we also made the decision to spread out the harvest, harvesting only on certain mornings to take advantage of the freshness and perfect the maturity of the tannins…

The August sun is very different from that of September…

The big day! The merry team of pickers, armed with secateurs and small individual crates, finally set out to pick these remarkably healthy, ripe grapes with an exquisite taste… Carefully sorted on arrival in the cellar, stripped of a few roasted berries, the little grapes join freely the vats where their slow transmutation will take place.

The Signature of this 2020 vintage, the “Burgundy” acidity, which brings depth and freshness, far from collapsing as it matures, is maintained magnificently well. This natural tension is the infallible mark of this extraordinary vintage.

Prolongement des particularités de sa naissance, l’élevage de ce 2020, est lent et régulier, il permit un développement harmonieux de son amplitude et de sa complexité. Les malolactiques ne s’enclenchèrent en effet, qu’au printemps 2021 et la mise en bouteille fut réalisée entre la fin du mois de mai et le mois de juin 2022.

Continuation of the particularities of its birth, the ageing of this 2020, is slow and regular.

It allowed a harmonious development of its amplitude and its complexity. The malolactics only started in the spring of 2021 and the bottling was carried out between the end of May and June 2022.

Today, this vintage, with an ample and broad tessitura, commands the admiration of many tasters. For the winegrowers, its history, crowned by the work of patience, exalts us. We invite you to come and discover them at the estate.” Domaine Trapet

Reviewed by William Kelley
Issue Date 20th Jan 2022
Source January 2022 Week 3, The Wine Advocate

“I’ve written before about the ongoing renaissance at this Gevrey-Chambertin benchmark. Energized by the increasing involvement of his sons, Pierre and Louis, Jean-Louis Trapet has initiated a viticultural revolution: in 2020, fully seven hectares of the domaine’s holdings were converted both to échalas and to higher trellising stakes and wires, depending on the steepness of the slope. Since then, changes have been rolled out in other parcels too. And given the extent of Trapet’s holdings in prime climats, that means that the walk from Morey-Saint-Denis to Gevrey-Chambertin suddenly looks rather different. In the cuverie, winemaking continues to be very classical, with important percentages of whole clusters. There are more smaller cuvées too, including a Gevrey-Chambertin 1859, from old vines in lieu-dit Champerrier, and a bottling of Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Aux Combottes. The 2020 vintage has turned out brilliantly here: as elsewhere along the Côte, the wines are more primary than their 2019 counterparts at the same stage, and more tightly wound, displaying deep, saturated hues, vibrant cores of fruit and ripe tannins. Without being in the least austere, they’ll require some patience to realize their potential—but what potential!” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

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