Viré-Clessé Les Vercherres Vieilles Vignes Jean Rijckaert 2011
Many of Rijckaert’s old vines are planted in Viré-Clessé, within the Mâconnais region, an hour south of some of Burgundy’s most famous appellations. In Viré-Clessé, the Mâconnais’ newest appellation that was granted status in 1999, Rijckaert’s old vines are known for producing some of the best wines in the area. One of the reasons Jean Rijckaert’s wines are so noteworthy is because he learned from world-renowned Burgundy producers before he branched off to start his own winery. In the late 1980s, Rijckaert partnered with famed Jean-Marie Guffens to form Maison Verget—an estate whose reputation skyrocketed past both expectations and prestige for the Mâconnais region. Creating a name for himself at Verget, then moving forward to purchase old vines in the Mâconnais, Rijckaert has become a trusted source for high quality wines from the region. The vines are farmed organically, and made in a ultra traditional way—fermented with natural yeasts and aged in mostly neutral French Oak.
The 2011 “Les Vercherres” Vieilles Vignes has a beautiful light golden yellow core that moves to green and gold reflections on the rim. Complex and perfectly mature, the aromatics exhibit aromas of freshly cut yellow apple, hazelnut, honeysuckle, lemon blossoms, stirred lees, white mushrooms, oyster shells and finely crushed limestone. The palate is just as co32mpact, dense and layered as the nose, and simply near perfection for its lineage. The wine is round in texture and incredibly dense and mineral with flavors of yellow apple, preserved lemon, blanched nuts, finely crushed stones and a finish that seems to go on forever. This kind of concentration, body and freshness is rarely so harmonic for under $30 a bottle; this kind of complexity at this price is an anomaly.