2015 Château de Béru, Chablis “Côte aux Prêtres” White Burgundy, France.
One of the top natural wine producers in Burgundy the historic Chateau de Beru, which was originally founded over 400 years ago, is now run by the irrepressible and talented Athénaïs de Beru, a rising star in the region, and who shakes off tradition to craft many wildly unique bottlings, while still focusing on classic Chablis that showcase terroir. Working the vines using biodynamic certified methods and working in the cellar with pragmatic natural techniques Athénaïs has seduced the wine world with her stylish bottlings, and especially with this Chablis “Côte aux Prêtres” that saw added zero sulfur. Beru’s vines are in very stony plots with its terroir being formed during the Kimmeridgian era and is mainly composed of crushed limestone, hardened clay and marine fossils, from which Chablis gets its driving mineral steeliness and chalky flavors retaining intense acidity.
The 2015 Château de Béru Chablis Côte aux Prêtres, 100% Chardonnay comes from about 40 year old organic vines and is fermented using native yeasts and saw full Malos, raised in a combination of neutral French oak and stainless steel, with the elevate lasting a full 18 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, again without the addition of sulfur.
The warm vintage 2015 starts nutty and mineral rich with a saline and phenolic austerity, but the palate sweetens somewhat and while slightly more Jura like than Chablis, this is a compelling wine with mixed stone fruit, citrus and granny smith apple fruits along with liquid mineral, almond oil, wet rock and leesy notes. Drink this sooner v. later I think to keep the freshness of flavors and energy. It’s a unique Chablis, not your average version, but after an hour it comes into it’s own, opening nicely and gaining in detail and length.
Athénaïs Beru does lots of fun things, some wild for this region, she makes a Syrah, an Orange wine, a wonderfully flavorful Irancy Rouge, one of my favorites, made from whole-cluster 100% Pinot Noir (without the legal Cesar), as well as an Amphora aged Chardonnay and even a Vermentino and Carignan, but it’s the Chablis offerings that is the beating heart of this estate, with their the monopole, lieu-dit (like this one)and Premier Crus being highly sought after.
($55 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive