Bourgogne Chardonnay `Les Ursulines`

Côte de Beaune

Jean-Claude Boisset

Jean-Claude Boisset has undergone a radical transformation since the arrival in 2002 of...

viniculteur Grégory Patriat, one of the best viticulturalists/winemakers of his generation in Burgundy. Grégory had spent the previous three years working in the vineyards at Domaine Leroy and still spends a great deal of his time in the vineyards, paying his growers by the hectare in order to ensure low yields. He also prefers to work with organic growers, as he finds they produce better fruit. Unlike other Burgundian négociants, Grégory specialises in making wines from 'lieu-dits' or tiny plots of vines, something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines.

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Vineyards

The wine was made from selected parcels from the Côte de Beaune, in fact most of it is 'declassified' Rully, which gave a richness and structure to the wine. This is quite rare as most negociants source their 'Bourgogne Blanc' from the cheaper Macônnais area. Soils are mostly limestone-clay. Grégory is fanatical about the quality in the vineyard, regularly checking for any sign of disease or vine pests; he focuses particularly on soil management in order to increase microbiological activity and thus soil and vine health.

Vintage Information

Overall, 2013 was a classic vintage, 'very Burgundian' in the sense that we harvested late (75% of the grapes were picked in October). Average quality, similar to 8 out of 10 vintages in Burgundy with no variation in quality between the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, except for the incidence of hail, which affected the Côte de Beaune more significantly. Small production was due to climatic influences including coulure and millerandage, but also hail. Virtually no areas were spared in this respect. Yields were very small. The whites are a pure, fine, crafted style, with delicious acidity and great length on the palate. This is a vintage with a pronounced citrus and clean aromatic character.

Vinification

The whole bunches of grapes were pressed very gently for two and a half hours. The must was dropped to 12°C before being transferring to barrels, without settling to conserve as much of the lees as possible. A long fermentation followed using natural yeasts. The wine aged for 15 months without racking, and with no lees stirring to accentuate the wine's mineral qualities. 10% new French oak barrels were used to impart subtle complexity and a smooth finish. Again, it is quite rare for a 'Bourgogne Blanc' to be 100% aged in oak. Bottling took place using gravity after fining with bentonite and a very light filtration.

Tasting Notes

A fresh bouquet with notes of citrus, honeydew melon and white peach. The palate is very well-balanced, has good acidity and is drinking very well now.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2013
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Côte de Beaune, Burgundy
Winemaker Grégory Patriat
Alcohol (ABV) 12.5%
Acidity 6.49g/l
Wine pH 3.38