Wine of the Week – 2012 Jean-Paul Brun Beajolais Blanc “Terres Dorees”

The sale period for this wine runs from Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 through Wednesday, May 28th, 2014. — White Burgundy and Chardonnay lovers rejoice!  This is hands down one of the best Chardonnay values produced anywhere.  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.”  After taking a bottle of this home over the week end to “check in” on it for the first time in a bit, I agree with that bold statement 100%.

Jean-Paul Brun, the owner, farmer, and winemaker at Domaine des Terres Dorees, is a hero of ours and to many other wine lovers all over the world. His estate is located just north of Lyon, in the southern part of Beaujolais, and all of the farming is done without the use of poisonous chemicals, aka organically.  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 local organic vignerons with limestone soils.

These days, this wine is composed of grapes from vineyards that range in age from 22 to 80 years of age.  You can definitely smell and taste the old-vine character of this wine, and that’s what makes it such an incredible value.  The wine is fermented entirely in stainless steel, but trust us you won’t miss the oak on this one because it’s quite rich, layered and textured.

The nose is classic French Chardonnay in the form of pure apple, pear and lemon with some apricot and honeydew sneaking in there too.  And mineral, oh yeah, this one’s got some serious mineral that comes through in the wine smelling like wet rock and oyster shell.  This might sound gross to some of you, but trust us, it’s aromas like these that people pay hundreds of dollars for and it’s quite subtle.  On the palate, this one has great weight, texture and balance with a nice mix of round orchard fruits balanced by tangy and tart citrus, finishing with a complex melange of white flowers, gentle spice, and mineral.  We try a lot of wines here, including top flight White Burgundies, and we can honestly say that this one is better than a lot of wines that cost two to three times the price.

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