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Jean Rijckaert Vire Clesse Les Vercherres Vieilles Vignes 2014

Chardonnay from Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    This Vire-Clesse is characteristic of its magnificent terroir. The structure is elegant, the aromas typical of a fine Chardonnay of Burgundy: yellow fruits, citrus, and honeysuckle. The mouth is full, expressive, with a harmonious light touch of wood. The after mounth is characteristic of Rijckaert wines: fine, elegant and tense. But rather than long comments, get a bottle and enjoy.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Jean Rijckaert

    Jean Rijckaert

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    Jean Rijckaert, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    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.

    Maconnais

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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.

    Chardonnay

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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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    SBE103812_2014 Item# 181146