Jean-Claude with Eben Jan 2018

More Beautiful Burgundies from Jean-Claude Rateau, Featuring 2019 Beaune 1er Cru "Les Bressandes!"

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Seldom available in the US, Chambers Street is proud to offer the lovely Biodynamic wines of Jean-Claude Rateau. 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. His great farming is a key to producing such delicious, beautifully balanced wines in the warm, 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. 

2019 -  We've just received a few more cases of Jean-Claude's beautiful Beaune 1er Crus - "Les Bressandes" and "Les Reversées" and only two cases of the 1er Cru Blanc "Les Coucherias" along with a few cases of the superb 2019 Gevrey-Chambertin. These wines are beautifully balanced, classic expressions of the great soils. The 2019 "Les Bressandes" in particular is an extraordinary wine combining the ripeness of the vintage with delicacy, finesse and superb expresion of 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. The 2020 Hautes-Cotes de Beaune Blanc is a sensational value in White Burgundy!

Jean-Cluade Rateau was the fourth vigneron in France to convert to biodynamics, beginning with two hectares in 1979, learning from Yves Herody and working with Claude Bourguignon to analyse his soils. Rateau has always believed that the soils must be alive to ensure the healthy transfer of nutrients to the vines, especially important being the mycorrhizal funghi which assimilate phosphorous and micro-nutrients and live in symbiosis with the vines roots. He has developed a plowing regimen that encourages the life of the soil, uses natural composts and biodynamic preparations and has a varied population of wild plants in the vineyards that harbor beneficial insects. Jean-Claude's techniques in the cellar also enable the production of real wines of terroir. Fermentations are solely with wild-yeasts and stems are included in proportion depending on the vintage. There are manual cap-punchings, but no attempt to over-extract. Aging is uniquely in used barrels, three to ten years old, and minimal SO2 is used. M. Rateau does not seek or receive a great deal of media attention but his wines speak for themselves, with a purity and mineral character seldom seem in "modern" Burgundy.

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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 Beaune 1er Cru Les Coucherias

The Rateau Beaune 1er Cru "Les Coucherias" is high on the slope on the site of an old quarry and much of the sub-soil is limestone tailings, permitting root penetration and drainage, with a topsoil of mixed clay and limestone "marnes blanches." In Biodynamic agriculture since 1979, the vineyard is a south-facing semi-circle - a very warm spot, and the contrast is striking. The wine is full of powerful stone fruit and toasted almonds, with a great sense of breadth and richness but all balanced out by an intensely chalky and detailed finish. Excellent now, better in five years, and a truly outstanding value. Sam Ehrlich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $47.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

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 2019 Beaune Les Prevoles

Jean-Claude Rateau's domain has been Biodynamic since 1979 and produces lovely light-bodied, old fashioned Burgundies. The 2019 Beaune Les Prévoles (a lieu-dit below 1er Cru Chouacheux and les Tuvilains) was vinified with %100 whole-clusters, bringing a bit more structure and tannin to this deeply fruited wine which 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 2019s with lush black 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

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

  • 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 nicely balanced (13% alcohol) with firm acidity, earth, mineral and anise/licorice 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. Frankly, I would drink it, served a bit cool, this summer...  David Lillie

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

  • 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.Unlike the 2019 vintage, the 2020 highlights the freshness from steady, average summer temps and cooler nights leading to lower alcohol and higher acidity. The wine is showing aromas of  lemon, white stones, a slight herbaceousness and some green apple/pear and faint wood.The palate is silky and  perfectly balanced with pear, citrus and stony minerality, 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! 

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

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur