2021 Théo Dancer – Roc Breïa, Chardonnay, Vin de France, Mâcon/Burgundy, France.
The 2021 vintage proved a difficult one, for the Roc Breïa estate and the winery, run now by the youthful talent of Théo Dancer, sold off almost two thirds of their crop, but managed to produce a beautiful and mineral toned Chardonnay, on what was their premier release from this unique Mâcon property. My friend, a long time Burgundy enthusiast Alex Lallos, was an early admirer of Théo and was almost first in line for this Roc Breïa label and shared this 2021 edition with me, filling me in with just a tiny bit of the background to peak my interest and allowing me to settle in with the bottle to full appreciate wine without distraction. The light gold and straw hued Roc Breïa Chardonnay has a classic reductive start and loads of steely mineral, it opens quickly though and has pretty aromatics and a nice rounded palate with apple, Bosc pear, preserved lemon and golden fig fruits, along with flinty wet stones, loamy earth, hazelnut, clove spice and a tart white peach note. There is good restraint, bright energy and austerity, but you get a sight line of potential here and I am looking forward to the future releases coming from this label, especially as I hear the 2022 is a huge step up in all areas, even though I really liked this one. Dancer, under the Roc Breia label had a rare opportunity, in Burgundy, to grow a vineyard from the ground up and make a singular set of wines, which has to be a thrilling adventure for a young man, still riding the coattails of his famous father.

Théo Dancer, the son of Chassagne-Montrachet legend Vincent Dancer, has just released wines from his own exciting new project in the Mâconnais region in southern Burgundy, with the watchful eye of the wine world on him. The Roc Breïa property, which is located near the village of Bray in the Mâcon, just south of the Côte d’Or with 10.5-hectare vineyards, all of which all farmed conventionally before Théo came on the scene and converted them to all holistic, helping restore the life of the environment and significantly improve the soil health to produce quality and expressive grapes. For this premier release, Dancer used 100% organic Chardonnay grapes sourced from Roc Breïa’s four different parcels that were planted in 1944, 1945, 1976, and 1977 respectively, making the vines nicely mature, adding to the depth and concentration here. The 2021 vintage Chardonnay was fermented and aged in a combination of well used larger 350-500L neutral French barrels and was bottled unfined and unfiltered, all done to promote purity and transparency of the terroir. Théo reveals that his winemaking theme at Roc Breïa is almost identical to what happens at his family’s Vincent Dancer’s home domaine. He is aiming to showcase the Roc Breïa terroir in a clear and simple way, and he produces only two wines from here, including this Chardonnay made from those vines, with an average age of 60 years, and a Pinot Noir, which I hope to try soon, sourced from parcels that are about 35 years old. Thanks again Alex, this was a treat to sample and it is going to be fun to try the next set of releases.
($89 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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