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Jean Rijckaert Coteaux Bourguignons Correaux Vieilles Vignes 2015
"Correaux", the name of the area in Leynes, is where Jean Rijckaert lives at the very South of Burgundy. There, the soil is less calcareous and composed with more granite and sand, a perfect terroir for an authentic expression of the Gamay!
The Maison Rijckaert was created in 1998 by Jean Rijckaert, a passionate Belgian established as wine producer in Burgundy since 1990. In addition to 4 hectares in South Burgundy, the Domaine RIJCKAERT cultivates 5,5 ha of vineyards in the JURA, where Jean fell in love with these outstanding terroirs! Thus, they have two cellars: one at Davayé (South Burgundy, near Mâcon), one at Les Planches, near Arbois in the Jura. The Maison RIJCKAERT also purchases fine grapes, which are vinificated with the same precision and care than its own vineyards. Jean met his alter ego, Florent Rouve, in 2013, to whom he has gradually passed down his activities and above all his great savoir-faire.
They share a same vision of winemaking: restricted yields, handpicked harvest, slow and moderate pressings, indigenous yeasts, long aging into barrels, and...some precious secrets! A careful and natural winemaking, which aims to express the typicality of the grape and to highlight the specificity of the terroir where it comes from.
On the foothills of the Jura Mountains, just east of the Cote de Beaune on the Switzerland border, the Jura wine-producing zone is recognized for its unique reds, as well as its particular and diverse styles of whites.
Though borrowed from their neighbor Burgundy, Chardonnay and Pinot noir have been growing in Jura since the Middle Ages. But here the altitude, topography, climate and clay-rich, marl soils support a different style of Pinot noir, not to mention its other deeply-colored, full-bodied indigenous reds, Poulsard and Trousseau.
Considering area under vine, growers here favor Chardonnay for its consistency and reliability; it comprises almost half of Jura's vineyard acreage. However, Jura Chardonnay is anything but boring; its many offbeat styles are part of what make region’s wines so distinctive. It is used for Cremant (sparkling), Macvin (a fortified wine), as well as fine examples at the quality level of Burgundy.
Jura also has a unique oxidative style for Chardonnay but is better recognized for its similarly-styled “vin jaune,” meaning ‘yellow wine,’ which is made from the indigenous variety, Savagnin. Vin jaune is made using techniques similar to those used to make Sherry.
For all of its wines, Jura favors a traditional, natural and often organic style in viticulture and winemaking.
Delightfully playful, yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines from Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. While it has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau—a decidedly young, charming and fruit-driven wine—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing serious wines. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie, Valle d'Aosta and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.
In the Glass
In its simplest form as Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine released just a couple of months after harvest, Gamay is fresh and full of cranberry and cherry candy flavors. But Gamay is capable of much more. The region of Beaujolais is divided into Villages and Crus, where granite-rich soils and conditions are perfect for Gamay. The Villages and Crus wines, given more time on the vine and in the winery, are capable of improving with age and offer dark blackberry or ripe cherry flavors with enticing aromas of baking spice, violets and dark wet earth.
Gamay is delicious on its own; the simpler bottling can even benefit from a light chill before serving. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pâté and terrines. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of spice. Gamay is also great with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.
Within Beaujolais, there are ten different Crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.