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2014 Rully Blanc, La Chaume, Domaine Jean-Yves Devevey
From humble beginnings, Jean-Yves Devevey has developed a small but perfectly formed domaine making both red and white wines.
Jean-Yves started with a small holding of basic Bourgogne Rouge and Aligoté from modest locations and nothing but a shed behind the house to work in. Through hard work and considerable skill he has built up a successful business, part vigneron, part merchant, with a properly equipped cuverie and cellar to hand.
To supplement his own holdings Yean-Yves buys grapes from a small number of conscientious growers including one excellent source in Chassagne Montrachet, noted for its well constructed fine white winesThere are few inexpensive white Burgundies to match the quality of his peerless Les Perdrix vineyard. Since 1999 he has also owned half a hectare of Premier Cru Beaune Les Pertuisots where exemplary farming methods have dramatically improved quality each year.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
The commune and wine appellation of Rully in the north of the Côte Chalonnaise region produces both red and white wines but is better known for the latter. Typically Rully Blanc (100% Chardonnay , fermented and matured in oak barrels) is accessible relatively early in life but well made barrel fermented examples can age for up to five years. The commune is also famous as an excellent source of the sparking wine Crémant de Bourgogne.
The red wines are in classic Burgundian style (100% Pinot Noir), supple and accessible from a young age, and they tend to exhibit simple but enjoyable fruity notes with a delightful perfume. The whites tend to be more complex: vivacious and fresh, one can detect notes of apples, lemons and nuttiness. Both reds and whites are rather light-bodied, and are therefore more enjoyable within two to three years of bottling.
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