White Burgundy and Chardonnay lovers, please take note of the Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc. Vigneron Jean-Paul Brun not only makes one of the finest White Burgundy values in the world, this is hands-down one of the best Chardonnay values produced anywhere in the world. From old vines planted in limestone soils in the southern part of Beaujolais, Jean-Paul’s wine rivals and tops the finest wines of Pouilly-Fuisse and Saint Veran, but sells for a fraction of the price.
2016 Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc
What do the critics have to say about the Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc? A lot! The Wine Advocate said that this wine “offers sensational value and a distinctively delicious personality such as you won’t find in 98% or more Chardonnays grown anywhere in the world.” And Great Britain’s Decanter featured this one as a “Must Try White,” describing it like this. “Abundant white flowers, hints of melon and minerals; the taught, chalky palate has a taste of the soil. Quite serious and worth every penny.” And your trusty wine monger (that’s me) agrees whole-heartedly.
Jean-Paul Brun, the owner, farmer, and winemaker at Domaine des Terres Dorees is a hero of mine. This “renegade” producer owns a beautiful estate just north of Lyon, in the warmer, southern zone of Beaujolais. He farms organically, his yields are incredibly low, he ferments with indigenous yeasts in tank (no oak), and bottles with light fining and filtration. In addition, Jean-Paul had a special, horizontal tank made for this wine — this ensures closer contact between the wine and the lees at the bottom of the tank. And that’s why this wine has such a lovely and silky texture and mouthfeel. Like I said, he’s a “renegade,” as I’ve never heard of such a tactic.
Now, let’s talk vine age and terroir. In the early 1990’s, Brun planted several hectares of Chardonnay on limestone soil, the same type of “dirt” that produces some of the greatest Chardonnays in the world. As demand for his Chardonnay increased, he expanded his holdings and began contracting for grapes with other growers who shared his vision and philosophy. Today, Jean-Paul’s own vineyards are over 25 years old and he purchases grapes from some sites that over 80 years old. You can certainly smell and taste the intense and exuberant, old-vine character of this wine — it’s rich, layered, and textured, but still fresh and vibrant. Yin and yang………yum!
And YUM pretty much sums up this wine. Possessing a classic, pure, French Chardonnay nose of golden apple, pear, peach, lemon, and mineral, it’s one of those wines I could smell all day. On the palate, like I said before, it’s rich and fresh, textured and balanced. Behaving like a top-flight Pouilly-Fuisse, but selling for half the price, this is a ton of wine for the money. I can’t stress to you how much this wine punches above it’s weight class.
I try a lot of wines, including top-flight White Burgundies and Chardonnays from all over. I can honestly say that this one is better than a lot of those that cost two to three times the price. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! Stop by the store and get some of this one before it’s gone. Until we meet again, cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville.
Owner/Operator at Table Wine