Domaine Rois Mages Rully “Les Cailloux" Blanc 2019

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Alcohol: 12.5%

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Localization: Burgundy, France

Tasting Notes: This wine, named after the stony soil on which the vines grow, has attractive white and citrus fruits that are allied to a good texture. It is still developing, with a tight texture and minerality still to the fore. 

Notes: After the juice is very gently pressed from the skins, the Rully “Les Cailloux” Blanc is put into stainless steel tanks at a low temperature to allow for a natural settling of the must. The juice is then transferred to barrels (10% new) where it ferments with indigenous yeasts. During the alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentations, the wine is stirred “battonage” every day. The wine then matures in barrels for a year without any stirring or racking. The wine is fined but not filtered before bottling. An average vintage produces 600 cases.

The Domain: Anne-Sophie Debavelaere, of Burgundian roots, began her domaine in 1984 with one hectare of land. Over the years, the estate has expanded and now includes 11 hectares divided among seven “climats”. The parcels are mostly in Rully but include small plots in Bouzeron and Beaune. In Rully they have vineyards in four “climats”: the 1er Cru “Les Pierres” and the three lieux dits “Les Cailloux”, “Moulin A Vent” and “Chaponnière.”

In 2014, Anne-Sophie’s son, Felix joined her at the domain. Their vineyards are all worked with respect for the environment. No insecticides or herbicides are used, the ground is plowed but otherwise, the use of a tractor is restricted. The winery or “cave de vinification” is a vaulted cellar that was dug from the Rully hillside in 1850. It was originally built by a local negociant who wanted to have a cellar for sparkling wine similar to those in Champagne. Today, it offers Anne-Sophie and Felix a wonderful environment in which to mature their wines.

Anne-Sophie and Felix farm 3 hectares in the “Les Cailloux” vineyard. 1.3 hectares are planted to Chardonnay and 1.6 hectares are planted to Pinot Noir. The plant density is 8,000 plants per hectare and the vines have an average age of over 50 years. Anne-Sophie and Felix further ensure quality fruit by severely limiting the yields of their plants with the Chardonnay yielding 40hl per hectare and the Pinot Noir between 30 and 35 hl/hectare. The “Les Cailloux” vineyard descends from a plateau at one of the highest elevations in Rully and offers beautiful views of the Rully valleys below and the greater Côtes Challonnaise. As the vineyard name suggests, this “lieu dit” has a great many surface stones. They absorb the sun’s heat during the day and radiate it back to the plants after sunset. Wild herbs and grasses are encouraged to grow between the rows and in the summer, it gives their vineyard the look of an untamed garden. The grasses in combination with the rocky soils and dense planting produce an environment where the vines produce few bunches with grapes that are beautifully ripe, concentrated, and balanced. All harvesting is done by hand.