2016 Chateau des Rontets, Bourgogne Blanc “du Sud” White Burgundy, France.
The beautiful Chateau des Rontets “du Sud” Bourgogne Blanc 2016 starts with an exotic combination of perfumed citrus blossom, peach and delicate saline elements before opening up to classic Chardonnay apple and pear fruits and wet stones. Chateau des Rontets, an old slightly run down estate in the Pouilly-Fuisse zone of the Maconnaise, in southern Burgundy, got going again in 1995 when husband and wife Claire Gazeau, who’s family owned the little known estate, and Fabio Montrasi, who met while in school in Milan, started managing the Château des Rontets. This team, after renovating the vineyards and cellar, going to organic farming and using biodynamic practices are now making top notch single parcel Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay and a Cru Beaujolais Saint Amour Gamay red with a commitment to their natural practices. The estate is perched above the town of Fuissé with an elevation of 350m, with the estate’s primary vineyard Clos Varambon having a cool exposure that gives it striking minerallity and crisp detail that rivals Meursault. Nearly all the vines are planted from (a) Massale Selection (of clones) with some being ancient pre-phloxera vines and the rest average 45 years old at least, that gives this wines their depth and complexity. This cuvee comes from parcels in the Maconnaise that also provides fruit for Dominique Lafon’s Domaine des Heritiers du Comte Lafon, it’s a certified all biodynamic plot on classic clay and limestone, and like Lafon the Chateau des Rontets du Sud is all native yeast fermented and aged in well used large foudres to maximize the purity of form and this 2016 is an exceptional wine punching well above it’s price class. It has the same pleasure you’d get from elite Burgundy producers, but with much less reductive qualities, making it wonderfully easy to enjoy right out of the bottle and in it’s fresh youth. layers of apple, pear, and touch of hazelnut laser’s your focus on it’s terroir and grape, but it’s fleshy texture and floral tones excites the palate as well as the hints of fig, orange oil, liquid rock and lemon curd. There’s a lot to admire here and Chateau des Rontets has crafted a studied set of wines for the vintage, especially this one which I haven’t had prior, imported by Floraison Selections, this is an estate to follow and be sure to look for this “du Sud” Bourgogne Blanc, it’s impressive and textural with vivid intensity, drink over the next 3 to 5 years.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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