One can only speculate as to the reasons behind Francois’ decision to forgo attending this years’ GJDB – perhaps his long-standing relationship with Kermit Lynch could offer some insight – but his absence was noticed (at least by this fan of ethereal Chambolle-Musigny). It’s nice to know we have so many of his wines available for our clients, though.
Domaine Bertheau first attracted international attention when Robert Parker, while authoring his book “Burgundy – A Comprehensive Guide” would meet with and taste the wines of then proprietor Pierre Bertheau (father of Francois), ca 1989. So enamored was Parker of the wines emanating from Domaine Bertheau, in fact, that he graded the property at that time higher than Comte de Vogue, and on the same qualitative level as other superstar Domaines in Chambolle-Musigny as Jacques-Frederic Mugnier and Ponsot. Noting that Bertheau produced one of the finest Bonnes Mares, Amoureuses as well as Chambolle Charmes of anyone in the village, the “diminutive” Pierre (as Parker so affectionately described the man) was officially on the map.
Like so many of his contemporaries, Bertheau practiced what could best be described as a non-interventionist approach. Believing that terroir was paramount, Bertheau spent most of his time focusing on just that: the vineyard. His son, Francois would inherit this appreciation for terroir and a hands-off approach to wine-making, continuing in his father’s meticulous approach – right down to the minimalist approach to new wood (less than 10% is often employed here).
Upon Pierre’s untimely death in the early 2000s, Francois took full control of the Domaine and a new label was launched – bearing the name Domaine Francois Bertheau. The traditions, style as well as methods of viticulture, however remain steadfast. Francois respects his father’s theories and avoids filtration and manipulation of these delicate, exquisite, absolutely pristine examples of the very best that Chambolle and Bonnes Mares has to offer.
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