2016 Athénaïs de Béru Bourgogne Chardonnay

2016 Athénaïs de Béru Bourgogne Chardonnay

Regular price $28

Region: Mâconnais < Burgundy < France
Grape: Chardonnay
Vineyard/cellar stats: half certified organic, half uncertified organic; 30-year old vines; one year in stainless steel on lies; bottled unfined and unfiltered with 1ppm So2; 12%
Winemaker: Athénaïs de Béru
We love us good white Burgundy as much as anyone, but as we’ve gotten caught up in the thrill of discovery with natural wine (off-the-radar regions + grapes! new styles! oddball producers! SQUIRREL!), Chardonnay has sort of moved to the back burner.  But the mind-blowing wines of Athénaïs de Béru remind us how f*ing GOOD Burgundy can be.  
Athénaïs and her mother, Laurence, run the estate, which has been in the family for 400 years. Her father, Comte Éric de Beru, rejuvenated the land in the ’80s but passed away before being able to bring his dream to life, so the family rented it out to another farmer (sadly, a conventional one). A little over ten years ago, young Athénaïs, who was working in finance in Paris, changed her path and moved back home to take over.  She immediately converted the farming to organic, and then biodynamic.  Because, she says, "Each time I went to a tasting and I had a crush on a specific wine, when I asked what type of farming they were doing they were all talking about biodynamic. At that time, I didn’t have a clue what it meant but I knew that all the wines made from this type of farming had different energy and a different balance. So I moved to this, step by step. It took me a few years to go through this project. I made my first vintage in 2006 and moved to biodynamic in 2009. I’ve always had a personal interest in naturopathy and plants so when I started farming it seemed natural for me to see what type of plant or natural oil I would use. I applied what I would apply on a person. We are lucky to be in nature where there are still vines and forest and you don’t want to spray shit on all this beautiful nature, so from the beginning, I was trying to understand and find solutions within my own environment."

You need to drink this wine now because it will not be the same next year. Each harvest is different, so when you're not manipulating the wines, you don't know what the next vintage will bring. This wine is amazing now but will age beautifully (FYI, the myth that natural wines don’t age well is totally false - if they're made well, there should be no difference!) So pretty and floral, with crunchy green apple and citrus fruit, zippy acid and a strong mineral backbone. We dare any natty hipster to NOT love this wine.  But the beautiful thing is that your mom who loooves Chardonnay will love this, too!  

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