The Côte Chalonnaise begins just to the south from the Côte de Beaune, and includes the appellations of Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry, y Montagny. The region covers land in forty-four communes in the Saône-et-Loire. It produces red and rose wines from Pinot Noir, and white wines from Chardonnay and Aligoté.
Geology here is similar to that producing lighter wines in the Côte de Beaune. Soils include a mix of limestones and gravel, and limestones and clay. Vineyards also lies at a similar altitude, between 220 and 340 meters. The main difference is in the lack of shelter from the prevailing western winds, therefore needing more hours of sun to ripen fully. In the average, the harvest here starts later than in the Côte de Beaune.
Rully produces roughly 65 percent white wine and 35 percent red. White wines are normally produced in the upper slopes, those with a soil containing less clay. In general the region is better known for the quality of its white wines. With a citric and floral character, and a wise use of barrel ageing, these wines can compete with similar wines from the Côte de Beaune, at a better price.
The better source of white wines here is the Domaine de Chèvremont of Paul Jacqueson, founded in 1946 by Henri Jacqueson and continued by his son Paul from 1972 and later on by his granddaughter Mary from 2006. This domain is one in a few in the region that harvests manually and avoids chemical weed killing among other practices in their 13 ha of vineyard. Part of this vineyard, 2.5 ha, is included in the 1er cru La Pucelle. This is a relatively large cru, 6.46 ha, producing mostly white wines. The Puecelles is fermented and aged in oak barrels, 20% new.
Although 2004 did not produce and abundant crop, it was considered a brilliant white vintage from the beginning because of its acidity and aromatic purity. The key, the excellent weather conditions in the month of September.
However, this wine is past its suggested consumption window, nine years after its vintage. Let us see what we find. It shows a yellow-golden colour that evidences the past of time. The nose is clean and clear, with fruit (yellow) and barrel (nuts, a hint of vanilla) pleasantly blended. The mouth is ample and unctuous, medium-bodied. The aftertaste flavours evidence how evolved is this wine. Although it is a pleasant and interesting wine, it is not so fresh and vivid anymore. It drinks and enjoys now, but it doesn’t seem to be able to keep much longer, at least not in the same shape.