French : Domaine de la Rocaillière Beaujolais Chardonnay (2018)
Vincent Fontaine, winemaker-proprietor of this excellent domaine, is a friend and fellow cyclist of Jean-Marc Burgaud, which was how he was introduced to Berry Bros. & Rudd. Domaine de la Rocaillère comprises 20 hectares of vines in the appellation of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages. Vincent also makes a small quantity of Beaujolais Blanc, from Chardonnay grown on pierre dorée (limestone) in the south of the region. His bread and butter though, is his Beaujolais tout court, which hails from old vines on granite soils comparable to those found in the crus.
Vinification here is traditional for Beaujolais, which is to say the stems are retained, and the grapes undergo semi-carbonic maceration. The wines are aged in a combination of stainless steel and concrete, which Vincent regards as the ideal vessel for Gamay. Vincent’s is a classic, fruit-driven Beaujolais, albeit one with sufficient concentration to drink well for two to three years following the vintage.
Notes: Straw yellow colour, bright and golden reflections. Fresh nose, mineral, with generous aromas of apricot and pineapple. Creamy with no oak. Taste is elegant and rich with citrus notes. Slightly mineral with light body, discreet intensity and good persistence. On the palate, nectarine, lemon and apple.