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Delicious Burgundies at Reasonable Prices: The Biodynamic Wines of Jean-Claude Rateau, 2018 - 2020!

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We're happy to offer a wide range of the  vibrant Burgundies of Jean-Claude Rateau in Beaune, from a new shipment that has just arrived! Rateau is enormously respected in France and was a great influence on the new wave of Biodynamic producers such as Etienne de Montille, Dominique Lafon, Anne-Claude Leflaive, Michel Lafarge and Pierre Morey.  The wines are old-fashioned in their relative lightness and in their beautiful expressions of terroir, free of excess extraction or new oak. (Rateau was the first in Burgundy to practice Biodynamic farming!)

(Due to delays at the port and warehouses, we now expect delivery by Tuesday June 8th)

This shipment includes three of Jean-Claude's wines from the Hautes Côtes de Beaune which offer sensational value and fresh, vibrant drinking, perfect for this summer's mask-free get-togethers! The 2019 Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc is an especially delicious blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc that is a great and versatile food pairing, while the 2020 Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge is a fantastically pretty, relatively light-bodied Pinot that will be outstanding with grilled foods this year and will develop nicely with 5 - 8 years in the cellar. And for something delicously different, Jean-Claude's Hautes Côtes de Beaune Pinot Blanc is silky and pure with white fruits and hints of anise and verbena, supple, round and well balanced with firm acidity.  This is a perfect apéritif wine, and will accompany any fish or chicken dish, Asian foods and mild cheeses.

We love the 2019 Côte de Beaune La Grande Chatelaine - it's a wonderfully elegant white Burgundy from great terroir that wil drink beautifully over the next 8 to 10 years - only 24 btls of the 2019 were available...

Jean-Claude does not include his superb Bourgogne Rouge on his price-list, but if we ask nicely we get 60 btls per year. 

Located toward the bottom of the slope beneath Beaune Grèves and adjacent to Les Cents Vignes, Clos des Mariages is a mix of young and very old vines planted in clay and brown limestone soils. This is the best of Rateau's Beaune "village" wines to drink young but will age nicely for ten to fifteen years as well. ("Les Beaux et Bons" and "Les Prevoles" arrive in the fall.)

We were able to get 36 more bottles of Jean-Claude's outstanding 2018 Beaune 1er Crus and Gevrey-Chambertin. These are gorgeous wines to drink now, in their exuberant youth, but they will age beautifully - enjoy them until 2040 or beyond.

Normal case discounts apply, don't delay!

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The estate was created in 1979 with a few family parcels, always in Biodynamic agriculture, and now cultivates 10 hectares in the Hautes Côtes-de-Beaune, Beaune and Gevrey-Chambertin. Only a light and superficial plowing is done in summer, respecting wild plants and keeping hedges and fruit trees along the vines. Minimal fertilizers are used, always organic composts, as well as biodynamic preparations. Replantings are by massale selection, seeking a great diversity in the parcels, often with co-planted varieties, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc in La Grande Chatelaine. Fermentations are with wild yeasts, of course, with the goal of making wines with no additives, with minimal added SO2.

 

**Wines are pre-arrival and should be available in mid-June**

Rateau 2018 Beaune 1er Cru Les Reversées

From vines grown in the calcareous clay soils of Les Reversées premier cru toward the bottom of the hill in the center of the slope by Les Teurons. This is a bit more delicate and lower in alcohol than Rateau's "Bressandes" but still quite deep and generous in 2018 showing ripe  black cherry, boysenberry, notes of cherry pit and earth on the nose. The palate is quite dense but still with nice brightness with ripe black fruits, hints of iodine and iron and  soil beneath supple structure. Succulent acidity and savory mineral notes offset the ripeness and lend energy and drive on a rich, palate-coating finish which is very long with elegant black raspberry and red currant fruit.  The purity of fruit and earth notes are finely balanced - this is an excellent Burgundy for the mid-term. A fine pairing with braised chicken thighs with mustard, tarragon, and shallots. A great value from the pioneer of biodynamic Burgundy!

  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $53.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2018 Beaune 1er Cru Les Bressandes

Jean-Claude Rateau has a large parcel in the 1er Cru Les Bressandes on a steep slope facing east with pebbly clay/limestone soils, conducted in biodynamic farming since 1979. The soil is warm and well-drained giving ripe, structured wines. There is a 21-day cuvaison with manual cap-punching followed by 18 months in old barrels.Even with the minimal extraction practiced at the estate, the 2018 Bressandes shows a dense red/black color and lush aromas of ripe black cherry and blackberry, quite deep with sous-bois, violet, graphite and citrus. The palate is dense, elegant and chalky with blackberry, earth, bitter chocolate and minerals with terrific length of black fruits, earth and juicy acidity. Hints of iron, blood and roast meat indicate a very interesting aging potential for this wine. Given the weight and ripeness of the vintage, the wine still seems balanced and frames the copious fruit in ample acidity and tannin. This is a beautiful wine that will give great pleasure in its youth and should be a superb mature wine as well, with a long life ahead of it...  David Lillie

  • red
  • 8 in stock
  • $51.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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Rateau 2020 Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Pinot Blanc

 Permitted in Burgundy, but rarely seen on its own, Pinot Blanc grown by Jean-Claude Rateau in the Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune makes this lovely and versatile wine. The aromas are ripe and pretty, with apple and pear, lemon zest, almond and herbal notes. The palate is silky and pure with white fruits and hints of anise and verbena, supple, round and well balanced with firm acidity.  This is a perfect apéritif wine, and will accompany any fish or chicken dish, Asian foods and mild cheeses. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2019 Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc

Jean-Claude Rateau makes lovely Biodynamic wines in the Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune in his east-facing vineyard of clay/limestone and marne soils.  In the dry, hot 2019 vintage, yields were extremely low so Jean-Claude combined his Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc into this cuvee which is quite round and lucious showing floral aromas with ripe pear, apple and spice with hints of citrus and almond. The palate is rounder and more ripe than usual, but perfectly balanced with pear, citrus and stone flavors, with terrific length and firm acidity. This food friendly wine will accompany everything from oysters and grilled seafood to roast chicken and mild cheeses. Delicious now or cellar for 5 to 8 years. This is a delightful Burgundy and a great value!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2019 Côte de Beaune La Grande Chatelaine

About a kilometer or two northwest of the Beaune 1er Crus, La Grande Chatelaine is a cooler site on the Montagne de Beaune with soils comprised of gravel and clay over limestone. Stone fruit and pear skin, white flowers and wet stone on the nose. Bright and fresh aromatically. The mid-weight palate is racy but full and dense due to the low yields  of 2019,  with fresh orchard fruit and lemon oil flavors, dancing astride sapid herbal notes with a clinging stoniness on the long, mouthwatering, expansive finish. Serve wth seared scallops, halibut or other full-flavored fish. This is lovely ripe and vibrant Chardonnay from a unique vineyard site - drink over the next 5 to 8 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Rateau 2020 Bourgogne Rouge

 The Rateau Bourgogne Rouge is certified organic and Biodynamic, from both young and 60 year-old vines in the commune of Pommard on alluvial soils over limestone. The wine is aged sur-lie for 6 months in old barriques. The 2020 is a beautiful Pinot Noir, showing the ripeness and balance of the vintage with complex aromas of black cherry, blackberry, violet and earth with hints of licorice and chocolate. The palate is quite sapid and ripe but retains a slightly bitter acidity and moderate alcohol  with herbal flavors underlying the dense black fruits that linger in the finish with saline minerals - in other words this is a quite unique and delicious red Burgundy. 60 btls for the US, 6 btl max order, please... David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2020 Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge

 Jean-Claude Rateau makes this lovely, light-bodied Burgundy from a small parcel of 50 year-old vines in AOC Hautes Côtes de Beaune, certified biodynamic, "lyre ouverte" pruning.  The 2020 shows a bright red/garnet color, with very pretty aromas of tart cherry and raspberry with hints of rose, spice and violet. The palate is light but sapid, and beautifully flavored with bright cherry, red currant and raspberry fruit supported by fresh acidity. There is excellent length of berry fruits, mineral flavors and citrusy acids in the finish. This is an elegant Pinot Noir to serve cool with chicken and game birds, fish in sauce, grilled pork and mild cheeses - just delicious!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2020 Beaune Clos des Mariages

 Located toward the bottom of the slope beneath Beaune Grèves and adjacent to Les Cents Vignes, Clos des Mariages is a mix of young and very old vines planted in clay and brown limestone soils. "This fertile soil gives wines that are open and joyous, with delicate spice notes, giving great pleasure in their youth and capable of long-term aging." (J-C Rateau) Indeed the 2020 Clos des Mariages is a gorgeous wine showing a bright mélange of black cherry, strawberry and raspberry with hints of spice, citrus, licorice and violet. The palate shows dense, chalky fruit, sappy and ripe but with firm acidity and mineral flavors that continue in the very long, juicy finish. This is absolutely delicious now and should drink well continuously over the next ten to fifteen years. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin

From two small parcels in "Aux Eletois" (below Grand Cru Griottes)  and "les Epointures" (below 1er Cru Clos Prieur) on the more fine and aromatic side of Gevrey. The 2018 shows a bright red/garnet color with high-toned aromas of ripe black cherry, black raspberry and red currant with rose, herbal and citrus notes, quite pretty and not over-ripe. The palate shows terrific density of complex red and black fruits with hints of licorice, sous-bois and minerals while retaining a lovely lightness and freshness, with bright acidity under the long vibrant red fruits and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. Grreat fun to drink now, best to wait 5 to 8 years when it will really sing, then drink until 2035 - 2040. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $48.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur