The bounty.

A Few Vintages of Berthet-Bondet Château-Chalon

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Jean and Chantal Berthet-Bondet do not come from a long line of winemakers. They do, however, know a thing or two about agriculture. The two met in Montpellier as they pursued their respective courses in agronomy, leading Jean to take an assignment as a cooperante (a voluntary role as a researcher in underdeveloped countries) in Nepal working with wild oxen and buffalo, while Chantal taught at the Agricultural College of Montmorot, eventually working as an agronomist for the Direction Departementale de l'Agriculture. Not long after Jean’s return to France, the pair’s strong bonds with nature and a love of farming brought them to purchase their domaine within Château-Chalon in 1984, and they completed their first vintage the following year in 1985. 

In order to receive the Château-Chalon AOC denomination, the wines must be made as Vin Jaune (from the Savagnin grape, aged in barrel under a layer of yeast for no less than 6 years and 3 months). During this process, a large portion of wine evaporates, usually leaving approximately 62% of the original volume of wine in the barrel. All of the vines from this appellation, which is the oldest of the 6 Jura AOCs, cover a single hilltop of just nineteen hectares. In short, these wines are the king of Vin Jaune. Planted in blue and gray marl soils augmented by limestone, they lie on south-west facing slopes (some of them very steep with a 45% grade!) giving them optimal sun exposure and protection from the sometimes brutal winds that come from the north and east. These slopes also make machine harvesting and maintenance nearly impossible, meaning vineyard work is done by hand. This, along with the painstaking winemaking process, contribute to the scarcity and high cost of Château-Chalon.

The wines of Berthet-Bondet  (and of the Château-Chalon AOC in general ) are known for their longevity but it is not often that we get to see older vintages come through the shop, especially like these meticulously kept and reasonably priced wines. Enjoy these now or well into the future! Tim Gagnon

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Berthet-Bondet 1989 Côtes du Jura Savagnin

Fresh cream, lychee, and mango flesh give way to wildflower honey, pineapple stalk, and miso. Such a complex nose with deeper aromas of curry and white pepper. There is freshness and immediacy to this wine, with a strong mineral presence and a lip-smacking finish redolent of coconut water and toasted sea salt. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

Berthet-Bondet 1989 Château Chalon

Not surprisingly, the 1989 is the most developed of this group of wines. Classic notes of roasted cashews, fenugreek, and turmeric mingle with orange marmalade and ripe melon. It is well-balanced with a strong mineral backbone, and is deliciously piquant. Such a treat. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $89.99

Berthet-Bondet 1990 Château Chalon

Very deep and complex, and from a great vintage in the region. Honey-roasted walnuts, toasted sea-salt and beeswax followed by peat smoke, lemon curd, and ripe cantaloupe. This wine is still so fresh with a racy acidity and briny minerals. A smattering of cedar, smoke, melon, pineapple, and curry ensues. Seriously interesting! Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $94.99

Berthet-Bondet 1998 Château Chalon

One of the most compelling Chateau-Chalon wines I have tasted in quite a while. Banana, toffee, fenugreek, toasted walnut, and wildflower on the nose. It also has a very interesting honeyed quality as well. On the palate super salty minerals and fresh cream dominate with apple-y, lemon-y flavors on the back end. Serious and very enjoyable. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

Berthet-Bondet 1999 Château Chalon

This wine opens up with powerful aromas of turmeric, orange blossom, and curry. The voile really shows itself. Deeper levels of mint, lime zest, and salty minerals are balanced by fresh pineapple and unique malty, peaty notes. It really opens up beautifully over the course of a dinner! Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

Berthet-Bondet 2000 Château Chalon

Sea salt and minerals are at the forefront of this wine accompanied by elderflower and pineapple stalk. There is a distinct characteristic of cantaloupe rind and baked granny smith apple here as well. Very fresh and delicious, and a sharp acidity cuts through it all to give it great balance. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $84.99