Investment Tips - Burgundy - 27. July 2021

Prestigious Burgundy Wine On The Menu. Denis Bachelet's Charmes-Chambertin Is Now Available

Exclusive wines, high scores and low production: the optimal recipe for an investment with great potential

Finesse Above All Else

When Denis Bachelet was 16, his father asked him a question that would determine Denis' future. Do you want to be a winemaker, his father asked? Why not, Denis replied.

Denis Bachelet is an unknown legend in Gevrey-Chambertin. He has single-handedly developed this domain since he took over in 1983 and has managed to keep it under the radar. That's over now, as recent vintages have received massive attention from both critics and collectors around the world.

Denis Bachelet's Charmes-Chambertin is a wine produced in approximately 2,000 bottles a year, and in recent years this has by no means been enough to satisfy international demand – if you want the best and most prestigious wines of Charmes-Chambertin today, this is the direction to look.

Returned To Burgundy

In 1963, Denis Bachelet was born in Belgium. His French father visited the Belgian town of Spy on an excursion with the Gevrey-Chambertin choir, where he fell head over heels in love with a local Belgian girl. Despite his roots in Belgium, the family's French wine roots pulled strongly at Denis, and he visited his grandparents in Gevrey as often as he could.

When Denis Bachelet realized that wine could be his livelihood, he had no doubt that it was the path he should take.

Now began three years of study at the wine school in Beaune, and in 1983, after the death of his grandfather, Denis became fully involved in winemaking at Charmes-Chambertin. Denis' father had no interest in getting involved in the wine business, so Denis' grandmother was happy that her grandson was returning home to Burgundy. And though Denis cast much-needed magic dust over production, he consulted with his grandmother right up until her death

Domaine Denis Bachelet available for investment

A Minimal Domain Got Sparse Growth

When Denis Bachelet took over the domain, he had only 1.8 hectares at his disposal. 1.8 hectares that nevertheless contain high-class land: Grand Cru in Charmes-Chambertin, a bit of Gevrey-Chambertin at Premier Cru level and several parcels in regional Burgundy appellation. It was, according to himself, difficult to make a living, so it became important for him to expand the domain.

"La Finesse Avant Tout" – Finesse Before Everything Else

There is no doubt that Denis' flair for finesse has had a great impact on the wines of Charmes-Chambertin. His motto is La Finesse avant tout, meaning finesse before all else, and it permeates the wine he makes. Denis has full control over his vineyards, and he believes that the work in the vineyards has a massive impact on the final product.

Green harvesting is used to maintain a concentration of high-quality grapes. The grapes are 100 % destemmed and then crushed for colour extraction. The juice is fermented by natural fermentation, after which the contents are pressed from the vats and placed in tanks for a week. Finally, it is put into barrels. The process is simple, but it is largely controlled by finesse and intuition. 

Denis Bachelet and his son Nicolas now have 4.3 hectares of prime land in and around Gevrey-Chambertin. The top of the cake is certainly the two small parcels on the Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin vineyard. In addition, they own parcels at Premier Cru level and lower in Gevrey-Chambertin. The latest parcels were bought in 2011 in the Cote de Nuits-Villages appellation.

However, the real interest falls on their Charmes-Chambertin. 

Invest in wine from burgundy

The New School In Burgundy With Extremely Limited Production

Denis Bachelet belongs to the new school in Burgundy, where the focus is on the fruit and less on power and barrel ageing. Denis has been making wine this way for many years, but it is only now that it has become fashionable.

All good wine is made in the field, and this is particularly true of Denis' Charmes-Chambertin. He has two parcels, covering 0.433 hectares of the total 29 hectares on the estate. With vines more than 90 years old, Bachelet has access to pure gold. Based on the size of the landholding and the maximum yield allowed on a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy, one can calculate that Bachelet only produces about 2,000 bottles of this wine in a normal vintage.

The two parcels are precisely where the best wines are made, with neighbors like Dugat, Roty and Raphet. Just between the two villages, the two parcels are on top of the hill, which is optimal for exposure in these warmer vintages.

Charmes-Chambertin – Sustainable Production And Optimal Balance

In the field, pruning is done so that the vine's roots fight their way deep into the soil, allowing them to survive in dry vintages. It works according to lutte raisonnée, which is sustainable production without being certified organic.

In the cellar, the must is carefully worked to preserve as much fruit as possible. Even in Grand Cru, only 30 % of the barrels are new and the must is kept cool throughout the vinification. Denis Bachelet chooses to postpone the malolactic conversion until the following summer to create optimal balance in the wines. This is something many of the best producers have started to work on in recent years. 

And perhaps this is why Charmes-Chambertin is rated so highly by renowned wine critics.

A Comparison Of Vintages

There is broad agreement that both the 2017 and 2018 Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin vintages are at the top of the wine spectrum. With an average score of 95.2 on the 2018 vintage and 94.8 on the 2017 vintage, they are only surpassed by the 2016 vintage, which was generally a sublime vintage in Burgundy. Furthermore, we have to go all the way back to 2005 to find a score to match these.

In this regard, it is worth noting that a score for 2019 has not yet been given by Wine Advocate, but it is presumed that it will rank close to scores given by Burghound and Vinous.

Comparing Denis Bachelet's Charmes-Chambertin with Armand Rousseau's, one of the biggest names in Burgundy, produces interesting results. Rousseau's 2017 Charmes-Chambertin was awarded 93 points by Wine Advocate and the 2018 vintage scored 91-93 points. So, Bachelet has overtaken Rousseau – both on points and price. Rousseau's 2018 vintage costs about €450 versus Bachelet's 2018, which now costs €500 per bottle.

WA: Wine Advocate BH: Burghound VI: Vinous AVG: Average. Only the most relevant vintages are included here. All omitted vintages all have lower scores than the 2017 and 2018 vintages.

Let Us Dwell A Little On The 2019 Vintage Of Burgundy

The 2019 vintage of Burgundy is full of mystery and towering expectations. Over the past few years, Burgundy has shaken off many competitors and positioned itself heavily at the top of the wine ladder. This is not a matter of course, but an expression of talented producers and optimal conditions for wine production.

The 2019 vintage is being hailed as perhaps the best vintage ever, and all indications are that this vintage is going to affect what wines from Burgundy are going to cost when they are released. If this happens, it is likely to have a positive impact on prices of earlier vintages too – in this case the 2017 and 2018 vintages.

Read more about the hype surrounding 2019 Burgundy here.

Charmes-Chambertin grand cru

Why The 2019 Charmes-Chambertin From Bachelet Is Important

“The 2019 vintage is a brilliant success at this address, and its only disadvantage is that yields were some 40 % below average. As a result, Denis decided to combine all his communal Gevrey-Chambertin holdings into one cuvée, so there is no Evocelles this year” - Wine Advocate

With this, it is clear that an already limited production becomes even more limited. According to Wine Advocate, Bachelet is simply producing 40 % less wine on average, which limits not only the supply of Charmes-Chambertin, but Bachelet wine in general. With this in mind, as well as this vintage being further supported by the "Burgundy 2019 brand", the sparse volumes are likely to be extremely expensive. Something that, from a simple supply and demand mindset, will give the two previous vintages, which are of comparable quality, the wind at their backs.

According to Wine Advocate, there is extremely little 2019 Charmes-Chambertin coming from Bachelet. With high quality and the "Burgundy 2019 brand" behind it, it is likely to be expensive, which could be decisive for earlier vintages. At the same time, it means less supply, which could also have a positive impact on prices for existing volumes.

RareWine Invest’s Opinion

If you search for the 2017 and 2018 Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin vintages on, it will quickly become clear that there is not much to go by. Due to high scores and low production, the wine is popular and therefore extremely hard to come by. The supply of bottles in perfect condition in whole cases is almost non-existent – and it is the whole cases that are best suited for investment.

The insatiable demand for excellent quality Burgundy is one of the reasons why, wearing investment glasses, we believe in both the 2017 and 2018 Charmes-Chambertin vintages from Denis Bachelet.

It's pure luxury that you can choose between two different vintages – or maybe even both? The 2017 vintage costs €425, while the 2018 costs €500. The price difference is probably due to the lower average score of the 2017 vintage. We don't think one is preferable to the other but believe there is solid and attractive potential in both vintages. Indeed, it is closer to an investment in Bachelet and his top wine, than an investment in Charmes-Chambertin alone. 

Here you have an opportunity to get your hands on exclusive wines where the timing seems ideal. Indeed, the 2019 vintage is just about to become the vintage of the moment, and prices for 2019 Burgundy are predicted to be sky-high and could affect all previous vintages.

Invest in Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin

Contact us via the contact form at the bottom of the page if you want to know more about your investment options or order the wines directly through the form.

2018Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin750OC660€ 500
2017Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin750OC1260€ 425
*All prices are in EUR ex. customs duty, tax, and VAT for delivery to a bonded warehouse. Prices including customs duty, tax and VAT can be sent on request. The wines are only sold in whole cases unless otherwise specified and the price is per bottle. Minimum order size € 2,500. Assumes a total minimum investment of € 10,000. Prices may have changed since release of this article. Reservations are made for errors.

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