Cellar at Domaine Jean-Claude Rateau

Affordable Organic/Biodynamic  Burgundies, Part 2: 2014s and 2015s from Rateau, Jane et Sylvain and Champs de l'Abbaye!

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Last January we wrote about the 2014s from these three outstanding organic and biodynamic estates, which offer old-fashioned Burgundies of terroir at affordable prices. We have just received new shipments from all three including the first 2015s from Jean-Claude Rateau, the outstanding 2014 whites from Champs de l'Abbaye and more of the very delicious 2014s from Jane et Sylvain. Although it's difficult to accept that "delicious," "Burgundy" and "affordable" can exist logically in the same sentence, we urge you to try.

Jean-Claude Rateau, biodynamic since 1979, has been quietly making ethereal, light-bodied Burgundies that take us back to a less-extracted, lower alcohol, more delicate style. His 2014s and 2015s are superb, complex wines that show their origins in living soils, with a beautiful sappy ripeness over a finely textured mineral frame. 

"Queue de Hareng" Côtes de Nuits-Villages

From Jane et Sylvain, our organic friends in Gevrey, comes more of the simply delicious 2014 Passetoutgrain and Bourgogne Rouge and the 2013 Côtes de Nuits-Villages (from the Queue de Hareng in Brochon). These are beautiful everyday Burgundies, particularly the Bourgogne Rouge which shows wonderful purity of fruit and perfect balance. The Côtes de Nuits-Villages is a unique, very complex and mineral wine and a great value. Only three cases each have also arrived of the 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin and the superb 2013 Gevrey 1er Cru Les Fontenys, which is a superb choice for cellaring.

Alain and Isabelle Hasard (Photo: Bert Celce, wineterroirs.com)

Alain and Isabelle Hasard at Les Champs de l'Abbaye in the Côte Chalonnaise have been farming with organic and biodynamic methods since 1999. (See the excellent article in www.Wineterroirs.com from 2009). Their 2014 Bourgogne Blanc and 2014 Rully "les Cailloux" have just arrived. These are outstanding white Burgundies with sensational depth and minerality in a lean, elegant frame, reminding us of the De Moor Bourgogne Chitry. Only 120 bottles of each are available for the US, don't delay to give them a try!

Rateau 2014 Beaune Les Prevoles

Jean-Claude Rateau's domaine has been Biodynamic since 1979 and produces lovely light-bodied, old fashioned Burgundies. The 2014 Beaune Les Prévoles (a lieu-dit below 1er Cru Chouacheux and les Tuvilains) shows beautiful aromas of cherry and berry fruits with rose, blood orange and brown spice.  The palate is chalky, ripe and sapid while remaining light and fresh with berry fruits and tart citrusy acids. This develops nicely with aeration, becoming more supple and round, and finishes with stone, mineral and ripe fruits. Serve this delicious wine a bit cool with any mild chicken or white meat dish and goat cheeses, morbier, tomme de savoie. This should age nicely, best perhaps 2020 - 2026.

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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Rateau 2015 Bourgogne Rouge

The Rateau Bourgogne Rouge is certified organic and Biodynamic, from both young and 60 year-old vines in the commune of Pommard on alluvial soils over limestone. The wine is aged sur-lie for 8 months in old barriques. Straight out of the bottle, it's fun and easy drinking, with bright fruit, floral aromas, and ample minerality. Best served with a slight chill, and certainly a wine for acid lovers, but also for those who appreciate pure, beautiful Pinot fruit. Though it may come across as a "simple" wine because of its immediate enjoyability, there is a serious mineral core to this wine that gives the impression that the juice is simply a conduit for expressing the soil. All in all, the wine offers great insight into Rateau's style and the spirit of his wines. Healthy Biodynamic vines, great terroir, no new oak, just pure Burgundy through and through.   Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2015 Hautes Cotes de Beaune Rouge

From a small parcel of 50 year-old vines in AOC Hautes Côtes de Beaune, certified biodynamic, "lyre ouverte" pruning. Lovely light garnet color; subtle, delicate aromas of red fruits and flowers - quite complex and pretty with good ripeness in this excellent vintage - raspberry, tart cherry and blackberry. The palate is light but full-flavored and lovely with pure ripe  red fruits, finishing with bright acidity and saline minerals. This is a subtle and delicious glass of Burgundy, at only 12% alcohol even in 2015 - enjoy now served cool or wait 5 to 8 years for a mature experience. 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2015 Beaune Clos des Mariages

Located toward the bottom of the slope beneath Beaune Grèves and adjacent to Les Cents Vignes, Clos des Mariages is a mix of young and very old vines planted in clay and limestone soils. The 2015 expresses the prettier character of Beaune, with lovely wild strawberry,  raspberry, and spice aromas giving way to notes of turned earth. The silky mid-weight palate shows sour cherry, wild raspberry, brambles, black tea, and chalky minerality on a long, supple, layered  finish. There is a good sense of freshness, energy, and sap here.  And while this is generous with its fruit at present, the balance is there for mid-term aging. Perfect for grilled pork medallions or braised chicken in mustard sauce. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Les Bressandes

From a steep clay/limestone slope facing east in the 1er Cru Les Bressandes, this is an old fashioned wine of terroir. It's subtle on the nose, but smells elegantly perfumed and structured. On the palate, dried fruit, herbs, and earth. This is not a tough wine, rather finessed in fact without overly ripe tannins, but it is a serious wine, and one that stands out amongst the more red-fruit driven 2015s. Perhaps due to how hot 2011 was early on (it was one of about 6 recorded years since the 1700s when harvest began in August in Burgundy), the fruit here is mature, and quite developed, but balances perfectly with the earthiness and mineral qualities of the wine. It's in a great place now, as it really reminds us of aged Burgundy, but it will be even better when it IS aged Burgundy! We'd recommend drinking now or holding 5-10 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2008 Beaune 1er Cru Les Reversees

From vines grown in the calcareous clay soils of Les Reversées premier cru toward the bottom of the hill in the center of the slope by Les Teurons. The 2008 shows the cool-toned precision of the vintage. The nose displays dusty black cherry and hedge fruit aromas with notes of herbs and wood smoke. The palate is overtly mineral and savory, with complex soil notes and crushed herbs giving way to more cherry fruit, red currant, orange peel, iron and spice on a mid-weight and persistent finish. This still has a bit of structure to resolve, but it is intriguingly sapid, and satisfyingly earthy. Best now with a decant, better still in 3-5 years. This would pair beautifully with hanger steak and shallots, pasta with wild mushrooms, or roasted guinea hen. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2015 Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc

Jean-Claude Rateau makes lovely wines in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune in his east-facing vineyard of clay/limestone and marne soils. Quite racy and bright even in 2015, the wine shows subtle aromas of lemon,almond, stone, pear and apple. Intense, very mineral palate with pear, citrus and stone flavors and terrific length. Decant or open in advance if drinking now, serve with oysters, grilled seafoods, roast chicken and mild cheeses or cellar for 5 to 8 years. This is a real Chardonnay of terroir and a great value!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2012 Beaune 1er Cru Les Coucherias Blanc

Beaune 1er Cru "Les Coucherias" is high on the slope on the site of an old quarry and much of the sub-soil is limestone tailings, permitting root penetration and drainage, with a topsoil of mixed clay and limestone "marnes blanches." In biodynamic agriculture since 1979, the vineyard is a south-facing semi-circle—a very warm spot giving a full, ripe wine. The 2012 has lovely aromas of ripe pear and apple, with lemon-oil, melon and floral notes. The palate is quite round and ripe with pear, quince, lemon confit and honey backed with chalky minerals and good acidity. This is quite delicious now and until 2025.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Jane et Sylvain 2014 Bourgogne Passetoutgrain

Jane and Sylvain have done it again! Another beautiful Passetoutgrain from 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Gamay, grown near Gevrey-Chambertin, organically farmed and quite delicious! This young wine needs some time open or decanting, then shows lovely strawberry and blackberry aromas with hints of earth, violets, spice and citrus. The palate shows chalky berry fruit with earth, citrus and anise in a refreshing light to medium-bodied frame, with 12% alcohol. Serve quite cool with just about anything from fish to steak. Lovely juice and a great value!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic

Jane et Sylvain 2014 Bourgogne Rouge (Arrives 11/7)

Jane et Sylvain: A refreshingly unpretentious name for a small organic estate in Gevrey-Chambertin. Their Bourgogne Rouge is from young vines in a parcel that has never been chemically treated and always tended organically. The 2014 is simply delicious! The bright aromas are of raspberry and wild strawberry with violet and spice; the palate shows deep earthy berry fruit, quite ripe but balanced with very firm acidity. The finish is long and refreshing with citrusy red currant and raspberry. Drink this beautiful wine over the next five to eight years. Highly recommended!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Jane et Sylvain 2013 Côte de Nuits Villages

The vines are in the lieu-dit "Queue de Hareng" below an old quarry at the top of the slope in Brochon, next to Fixin 1er Cru "la Perrière," on red/brown soils of mountain silt and limestone pebbles over the limestone bedrock. Always giving an earthy and mineral-infused wine, the 2013 is particularly chalky and dense. The wine shows slight reduction then deep blackberry/raspberry liqueur with hints of coffee, earth and violets. The palate shows vivid red and black fruits combining with earth and mineral flavors that continue in the long finish. Please decant if drinking now or hold three to five years then drink till 2026+. This is a delicious Burgundy and very expressive of this unique vineyard site!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Jane et Sylvain 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Fontenys

Jane et Sylvain have a superb, tiny parcel of Gevrey 1er Cru "Fontenys", high up in the southwest, separated from Grand Cru Ruchottes by a dirt track. They are certified organic and age the wine in old barriques. The 2013 is a bit coiled upon opening, but with an hour or so of air opens to reveal cherry and red berry fruit, wet bark, savory earth, and spice notes on the nose. The palate has good density offering sappy cherry fruit, lively acids, and dark-toned minerality with firm but ripe tannins and a very long, savory finish. This is a classy Gevrey which will need 5-8 years to come together but should drink beautifully for another dozen years after that. John McIlwain    In January of 2014, I tasted the 2002 Gevrey 1er Cru Fontenys in the cellar with Jane and Sylvain.Their eldest son was born in 2002, so they saved a bunch for him, but were generous enough to share one with my father and me. It was transcendental - what I refer to as my "religious experience" with red Burgundy, and possibly one of the most memorable wines I've ever tasted. Flowers, stones, dried fruit, the subtle touch of tannin... truly a blissful experience. Jane says the wine has "la finesse du Ruchottes," referring to the Grand Cru vineyard that is literally feet away from the edge of their vines in the Premier Cru Fonteny.  Unfortunately we don't have any of the 2002 at Chambers, but the 2013 is a great purchase for the cellar - patience will reward you if you can wait for it to develop. Eben Lillie  

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $54.99

  • Organic

Champs de l'Abbaye 2014 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Warning! Delicious Burgundy for under $20 that disappears quickly when poured in glass... From 10 to 50 year-old vines grown on limestone soils (Middle Jurassic!) in the commune of Aluze, Cotes Chalonnaise, certified organic since 1999. Needs a little air, then shows lovely aromas of black raspberry, tart cherry, citrus, violet and spice. Supple blackberry and cherry fruit on the palate balanced by bright acidity with earth, citrus and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. "Gouleyant" as the French would say, just plain yummy in English.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Champs de l'Abbaye 2014 Mercurey La Brigadière

From a 1/2 hectare parcel of 35 to 40 year-old Pinot Noir vines on poor chalky soil with clay/limestone below, certified organic since 1999 and with biodynamic methods. Yields of 20 hl/ha, elevage in barrique, 50% new. The great farming of Isabelle and Alain Hasard gives wines of great density and character and the 2014 Mercurey "Brigadiere" is a great example. A bit of toasty oak frames deep strawberry and ripe cherry aromas with violet, blood orange and spice. The palate is supple and bright with lush, earthy blackberry and strawberry fruit that lingers in the long finish framed in saline minerals and good acidity. At 12% alcohol the wine combines ripeness and density but retains a bright refreshing character. Enjoy now served cool with roast chicken and lighter beef and pork dishes. Best perhaps 2018 to 2025 - lovely wine!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Champs de l'Abbaye 2013 Monthélie Les Sous Roches

From the biodynamically farmed high altitude Les Sous Roches lieu-dit on the northwest slope in Monthélie composed of clay and stones. A blend of dark berries, black cherry, black raspberry, cocoa, and wet stone on the nose, followed by hints of sandalwood and smoke. There is good energy and concentration on the medium-bodied palate. Layers of ripe black cherry, raspberry, and blood orange on the attack are followed by savory herbal notes and a tangy mineral finish. This is a nice prospect for mid-term aging and will pair beautifully with grilled meats, roasted veal, or pasta with a wild mushroom ragout. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Champs de l'Abbaye 2014 Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay

From Chardonnay grown on an excellent limestone/clay parcel in Aluze, next to Mercurey. Certified organic, hand-harvested, low yields, very long (10 month) wild-yeast fermentation in barrel, bottled by gravity, unfiltered. This is an outstanding Chardonnay of terroir thanks to the great farming and vinifications at Champs de l'Abbaye.  Subtle aromas of stone, white fruits, lemon peel and herbs with a bit of new oak. The palate is intense and crystalline with strong mineral flavors, white fruits, citrus, spice and oak. (We are reminded of the Bourgogne Chitry by De Moor) The finish is dense and long with citrus, pear and stone - this is a serious glass of white Burgundy that will accompany oysters, grilled fish, roast chicken and much more. Not for lovers of Napa Chardonnay....

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Champs de l'Abbaye 2014 Rully Les Cailloux

From a 1/2 hectare parcel of 35 year-old vines in Rully on clay/limestone soils. Aromas of dried pear, herbs, citrus and stone with lime flower and new oak. Intense stone and mineral flavors typical to Rully on the palate with citrus and white fruits. Fabulous stony finish.  This is an austere and elegant white Burgundy to drink now in its scintillating youth with oysters, grilled seafod, chicken and goat cheeses. Hold 5 to 10 years for a mature experience.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé

Lovely pale pink color, fresh, subtle aromas of crushed raspberry and blood orange, firm mousse with tart red fruits and citrus with refreshing acidity — a light and simply delicious sparkling rosé that's a fabulous value!

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $17.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Nature

From organic Chardonnay grapes grown in the Côte Chalonnaise near Mercurey. This is a lovely Crémant that shows aromas of brioche, white fruits, lemon zest and lime-flower. The palate is bone dry with pronounced mineral flavors and firm acidity framing pear, citrus and spice, with nice density and length. This is really an excellent Champagne-alternative at a great price!

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $17.99

  • Organic