Domaine de la Bongran Vire-Clesse Cuvee Tradition E.J. Thevenet 2014 Front Label
Domaine de la Bongran Vire-Clesse Cuvee Tradition E.J. Thevenet 2014 Front LabelDomaine de la Bongran Vire-Clesse Cuvee Tradition E.J. Thevenet 2014  Front Bottle Shot

Domaine de la Bongran Vire-Clesse Cuvee Tradition E.J. Thevenet 2014

  • RP94
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Viré-Clessé Cuvée E. J. Thevenet is showing very well, unwinding in the glass with aromas of green orchard fruit, almond paste and honeycomb that are still quite youthfully reserved. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, lively and elegantly textural, with a satiny attack, attractive purity and a suppler, more inviting profile than the blocky, super concentrated 2015 rendition, but it's also showing more reserve than the tender, inviting 2013. Though it can be enjoyed now, to my palate, the real excitement will come with a decade in the cellar, so patient readers should gravitate toward this bottling.
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Domaine de la Bongran

Domaine de la Bongran

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Domaine de la Bongran, France
In today's context, it's hard to imagine terms like "organic viticulture", "minimal intervention winemaking" and "natural wine" didn't always exist. Jean Thévenet, along with the likes of Marcel Lapierre and Pierre Overnoy, are largely credited with the development of these work philosophies throughout France in the early 80's. The estate of Bongran consists of 4,5 h grown on clay with white marl subsoils. Jean's father originally owned a few ares in the area; after realizing the terroir's potential, he started buying surrounding plots from his neighbors in exchange for flatland, which has long been converted to housing. A single bottling of Viré-Clessé is produced, and is undoubtedly one of the most unique expressions of Chardonnay being made today. The wine's natural fermentation usually takes close to two years, at which time it is bottled and held in the Thévenet's cellar, to be released at their discretion. Grapes here mature much later than the norm, and produce a wine that is naturally high in alcohol, rich in body, bright in minerality, acidity and invariably has traces of residual sugar. This creates incredible food pairings possibilites with richer dishes and cheeses. The wines also age incredibly.
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These are the fun, fruit-driven and lively Chardonnays of white Burgundy, often offering some fantastic values and options that you don’t have to cellar. Flavors range from fresh green apple and lemon to melon or pineapple; some of the best are fleshy and mineral driven or balanced by a light touch of oak.

Mâconnais Chardonnay may have the weight of their more serious Côte de Beaune sisters, but not quite the refinement. Still, this appellation is one of the best ways to jump from California Chardonnay to something new and begin to understand white Burgundy.

The Mâconnais region is warmer and drier than the rest of Burgundy to its north (Côte d’Or) and has a landscape of rolling hills and farmland interspersed among vineyards. The region produces a lot of Chardonnay—Viré-Clessé and Pouilly-Fuisse are among the best—and a very small amount of red wine from Gamay and Pinot noir. The soils of Mâconnais remain limestone dominant like in the Côte d’Or, making it a wonderful spot for Chardonnay to thrive. Gamay's home of Beaujolais lies just to the south.

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

DBWDB0350_14_2014 Item# 519431

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