Rateau vines in Beaune

Superb Biodynamic Burgundies (and Great Values) from Jean-Claude Rateau in Beaune!

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We're happy that Burgundy lovers in the US are finally discovering the beautiful wines of Jean-Claude Rateau in Beaune! His great biodynamic farming - since 1979 - is a key to producing such delicious, beautifully balanced wines in the hot, dry vintages of 2019 and 2020.   The wines are old-fashioned in their relative lightness and in their beautiful expressions of terroir, free of over-extraction, excess sulfur dioxide or new oak. A small new shipment has arrived, just in time for the holidays!

2019 - A hot, dry vintage in Burgundy that was saved by late rains that brought balance and brightness to the very ripe fruit, especially for biodynamic growers such as Rateau. We have only a few cases of Jean-Claude's two beautiful Beaune 1er Crus - "Les Bressandes" and "Les Reversées" - and a few cases of the superb 2019 Gevrey-Chambertin. These wines are beautifully balanced, classic expressions of great terroir...

2020 - As in 2019, a hot dry summer, some late rain, but with the added complication of an early bud-break and subsequent early harvest as in 2003. Again, Biodynamic growers (including Lalou Bize-Leroy!) reported perfectly balanced fruit despite higher alcohol, without the burned grapes found in many "conventional" vineyards. Jean-Claude's 2020 reds for early drinking have gorgeous fruit and are balanced and bright, while the whites are particularly excellent with a silky texture, perfect acidity and lovely mineral flavors in the finish.

Jean-Claude in the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune

Jean-Claude created his domain 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. Replanting is 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.

All wines arrive by 11/4, normal case, mixed case discounts apply.

Rateau 2020 Beaune Les Prevoles

Jean-Claude Rateau's domain has been Biodynamic since 1979 and produces lovely light-bodied, old fashioned Burgundies. The 2020 Beaune Les Prévoles (a lieu-dit below 1er Cru Chouacheux and les Tuvilains) shows beautiful ripe aromas of cherry and black raspberry with rose, earth, citrus and brown spice.  The palate is chalky, ripe and sapid, showing the density of the 2020s but with lovely brightness and balance, with lush berry fruits enveloping firm acidity and mineral flavors. Really a lovely wine and quite delicous now, full and ripe enough for grilled meats, as well as chicken and pork dishes and cheeses such as morbier, tomme de savoie. This should benefit from a bit of aging but is quite beautiful as a young wine, best perhaps 2023 - 2030.  David Lillie

  • red
  • 15 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2020 Beaune "Les Beaux et Bons"

The first vigneron in Burgundy to convert to biodynamics in 1979, Jean-Claude Rateau fashions wines of geat purity and precision. Working with no new oak and minimal sulfur, his reds are at once floral, savory, and mineral.  The 2020 "Les Beaux et Bons," sourced from lieux-dits Beaux and Bons on the Pommard side of Beaune, shows a bright dark red color with astonishing aromas of boysenberry, red currant and tart cherry, bitter chocolate, citrus, violet and smoke. The palate is supple and sapid, framed in cool refreshing acidity,  with vibrant, ripe red and black fruits, finishing with lush, refreshing red fruits and mineral flavors. Enjoy now, served cool, for its youthful fruit or wait a few years for a more complex experience, drink until 2031. David Lillie

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $38.99

  • 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

  • red
  • 10 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2020 Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc Chardonnay

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 2020 vintage,  the wine is quite round and lucious showing floral aromas with almond, ripe pear, apple and spice with hints of citrus. The palate is silky and supple 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! 

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2020 Côte de Beaune Grande Chatelaine

About a kilometer or two northwest of the Beaune 1er Crus, La Grande Chatelain is a cooler site with soils comprised of clay over limestone. The 2020 Clos de la Grande Chatelain has fresh cool-toned aromatics of white flowers,  nectarine, rainwater,  and pear skin. The medium-bodied palate is a little warmer toned  offering flavors of nectarine, white peach, and crushed herb with a fairly savory finish.  The 2020 vintage was hot and dry and the harvest was very early, but Rateau's whites retain good acidity and crispness, especially from this  cooler high-altitude climat.  This is generous and makes for a lovely quaffer, as well as a beautiful partner with shellfish or milder cheeses.

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2019 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. The beautiful 2019 Bressandes shows a lighter color than the 2018 - bright, clear red/garnet, wonderfully perfumed with earth, tart cherry, raspberry, rose-petal, chalk, truffle, citrus and roast meat. The palate is bright, dense and pure with ripe black cherry and red currant fruit, not heavy but sapid and long with earthy mineral flavors, soil, licorice, orange peel and spice. The finish is very long with floral red fruits, earth and citrus flavors and firm chalky acidity. This is a great Bressandes, best to hold five years then enjoy until 2045.   ("A formation rare in Burgundy, 'la grèze lithée.' An ancient limestone cliff dominated the slope in the distant past, which eroded leaving debris of small pepples which covered the slope at this spot from top to bottom - leaving a steep slope facing east with a soil rich in pepples, deep, warm and dry, where the vines roots penetrate deeply.")  David Lillie 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $53.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2019 Beaune 1er Cru Les Reversées

The 2019 Rateau "Reversées" shows generous black cherry, boysenberry, notes of cherry pit and anise on the nose. Ripe mid-weight palate, ripe black fruits, hints of iodine and iron and other soil beneath supple structure. A bit lighter and brighter than the 2018. Succulent acidity and savory mineral notes offset the ripeness and lend energy and drive on a balanced and mineral palate-coating finish.. The purity of fruit and earth notes are finely balanced and 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! 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rateau 2019 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. In the glass, the wine is a healthy black cherry in color. The nose is lovely, with scents of red plum, red currants and cranberry upfront, and lingering green herbs and tilled garden soil. An aroma of dark peach appears after the wine sees some air. The stone fruit character is upfront on the palate, accompanied by red forest berries and  a nice mintiness. A bright minerality teams with medium acidity and just an ounce of tannin. A great wine that will surely take on more earth over the years if cellared - but this is juicy and full wine today. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $51.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

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
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur