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Patrice Rion Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
  • WS90
12.5% ABV
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12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This white Burgundy has a crystal clear, limpid appearance, frequently with green tints. This wine shows in its youth white flowers, lilies and ferns, which evolve into notes of hazelnut. As it ages, the wine shows honeyed, sometimes buttery accents, with additional aromas of spice and sugared chestnuts, and often mentholated fruits. The wine is round at the beginning, but its clear acidity gives it a tension that leads to a beautiful mineral finish.

This is versatile and wonderful wine with food. Its liveliness makes it a great aperitif wine. Its aromatic range and persistence make it a star with fish, shellfish and seafood.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Offers an intriguing mix of smoke, earth and oyster shell aromas, settling down on the palate with lemon, floral and stony mineral flavors. Shows fine intensity and length, with a minerally finish.
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Patrice Rion

Domaine Michele et Patrice Rion

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Domaine Michele et Patrice Rion, Burgundy, France
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Patrice Rion and his wife Michèle began their own small domaine in 1990 while Patrice continued as winemaker at the family domaine. They enlarged in 2000 when Patrice left Domaine Daniel Rion and built his own winery and cellar. Patrice and Michele’s son Maxime joined the family business in 2005 after completing oenology studies in Dijon.

The domaine currently farms 15 acres focused in the Nuits Saint Georges and Chambolle-Musigny appellations, and works with growers in other 1er Cru vineyards in the Côte de Nuits. The approach to viticulture in all vineyards is rigorous with vines that are pruned short and bud selection kept very low. The vineyards are farmed without herbicide, preferring to plow and hoe as a way to control weeds.

Patrice and Maxime do not believe that the “maximum” is the “optimum,” particularly when it comes to extracting phenolics, tannins, and color. Instead, you will find wines that maintain the freshness and minerality of Burgundian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Patrice is known for “very pure, harmonious wines, skilfully vinified,” according to Jasper Morris, MW.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.

The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.

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.

TNWPRBCH14_2014 Item# 211705