One of the most highly-scored Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte de Nuits, Grands Échezeaux is cushioned within a small strip of land among the communes of Vosne-Romanee, Vougeot and Chambolle-Musigny.
Just under 8 hectares, the parcel, which is exclusive to Pinot Noir, is one of the smaller ones in Burgundy despite its imposing name. While it was long associated with the larger Échezeaux vineyards, its dedication to quality was rewarded in 1936 when its own appellation was established a full year before that of Échezeaux. The designation asserted its position among many of its Bourgogne competitors, and as a result, its wine consistently commands much higher prices by comparison.
Judging by its name,a variation on the Gallo-Roman term chesauxwhich refers to a group of dwellings, Grands Échezeaux was
While 21 different owners have holdings in Grands Échezeaux, making it somewhat more fragmented than the many monopoles in the region, over 30% of the land is held by Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC. DRC is the most famous producer in Burgundy, and one of the most celebrated in the world. Its presence in Grands Échezeaux validates the land’s superior product and certainly drives its prestigious reputation for quality vines, dedicated cultivation and excellent terroir. Other producers of global renown are Joseph Drouhin, Dominique Laurent, Gros Frere et Soeur and Jadot.
The wine itself is captivating from the moment it enters the glass. Richly red at its onset, it transforms into a deep magenta as it matures. The early fruit-forward profile of other Burgundian Pinot Noir is superseded by an initial floral aroma that combines with spice, prune, game and underbrush. Touches of mushroom and leather follow with time, with firm tannins and agreeable acidity adding to its fully-rounded flavor and long finish. Focused, profound, concentrated and highly masculine, the wine needs at least five years of aging to reveal its best character and attributes, but 12 to 15 in cellar would be even better.
The wines of Grands Échezeaux can only be called world-class. While the small vineyard keeps its profile low-key amidst its larger neighbors, its celebrated wines are anything but modest or restrained. On the contrary, they represent some of the most exceptional Grands Crus in all of Burgundy.