Domaine Maison Roche de Beline – Avery’s Wine Merchants- Bristol – £15.99
Bonne année – It’s January, and the first instalment of a new year of slurping – a time for reflection and for resolutions, I have already come up with a few, some particularly poignant in what is perhaps the most difficult month of the year. I resolve not to take Blue Monday seriously, although this week it was particularly dismal cold and grey. I also resolve to decry dry January, which is simply an admission that it’s participants are boarder-line alcoholics without the slightest slither of willpower. Seriously, if you can’t drink in moderation or responsibly, then resist the temptation for the other eleven months of the year!
I also resolve to get to the bottom of Burgundy, somewhere which has failed to captivate me. Therefore, with Burgundy En Primeur in full swing it seems like the perfect opportunity to take Just a quick slurp and let you know about my latest discovery.
Domaine Maison Roche De Beline based in Beaune on the Cotes De Beaune, are not shy at producing top class wines bursting with all that is good from this area. In fact one of the most interesting is the Viré Clessé. The Domaine, founded in 2009 by Nicolas Potel and produces high quality wines from 40 Year old vines, the growers Nicolas works with are all certified lutte raisonée (“sustainable viticulture”) therefore allowing the wines to be expressive of the Terroir, something which Nicolas and his growers are paticularly passionate about.
Viré Clessé is a relatively new appellation formed in 1999, it’s an AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for white wine only, in the Macconaise sub region of Burgundy. The only designated grape allowed in the wine is Chardonnay and the Appelation consists of the communes of Clessé, Laizé, Montbellet and Viré. The Viré Clessé Appellation is to be found in the northern part of the Mâconnaise sub region north of the town of Mâcon, in the direction of the Côte Chalonnaise sub region.
Typically for this style of wine it’s beautifully pale gold to the eye, on the nose it’s a little confusing, there are notes of stone fruit, but then the unmistakable scent of citrus and green apple, a delicate note of honey is also present. On the palate it’s classic white burgundy, citrus and green apple, with a wonderful streak of minerality, then a final note of grapefruit, and a mouth-watering level of acidity. This wine is excellent, balanced to perfection and made with care and attention, a real corker for the price, punching way above its weight and something that will tickle the taste buds of all those lucky enough to try some. Drinking perfectly now but will age for at least 2-3 years to come, it will reward chicken and fish dishes and makes a perfect indulgent treat on its own.
So, it seems that in this case perhaps my New Year’s Resolution should be to drink more Burgundy – the word on the grapevine is that the whites from 2016 – a particularly challenging year are drinking very well – perhaps some of the best for a while – certainly if this is a benchmark then I can’t wait to find out more – now, pass me that bottle!