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2014 Berry Bros. & Rudd White Burgundy by Collovray & Terrier
Winemakers Jean-Luc Terrier and Christian Collovray of Domaine des Deux Roches are certainly amongst the elite producers of the Mâconnais.
Their St Véran wine is vinified and aged in stainless steel and is a rich, pure expression of Chardonnay. A proportion of ‘Les Terres Noires’, ‘Chailloux’ and the ‘Vieilles Vignes’ cuvées are aged in Vosges and Allier oak. These are some of the commune’s best wines, emphasising that a policy of quality over quantity invariably pays off.
The undulating, pastoral region of Mâcon lies approximately 50 kilometres south of the prestigious Côtes de Beaune. This area's best wines come from the steep vineyards surrounding the impressive outcrop of the `Rock of Solutré`. Domaine des Deux Roches's 29 acres lie adjacent to this impressive landmark.
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.
Bourgogne Blanc is the appellation used to refer to generic white wines from Burgundy, a wide term which allows 384 separate villages to produce a white wine with the label ‘Bourgogne.’ As a result of this variety, Bourgogne Blanc is very hard to characterise with a single notable style, however the wines are usually dominated by the presence of Chardonnay, which is just about the only common factor between them. That being said, Chardonnay itself varies based on the environmental factors, so every bottle of Bourgogne Blanc will vary in some way from the next! Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are also permitted for use in Bourgogne Blanc under the regulations of the appellation.
As Bourgogne Blanc is very much an entry-level white wine for most regions in Burgundy, prices are usually very reasonable, and due to the terroir and climate of Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc wines tend to have a strong acidity to them, combined with a vibrant and often fruity palate when compared with other whites from the New World, say, allowing fantastic matchmaking with many different kinds of food.