A humble Village Burgundy from the also-ran Mâconnais region of Burgundy. What makes this a bit interesting is its link to vigneron Jean Thévenet, who tends to employ unconventional techniques in the growing and vinification of his wines, including the occasional oddball inclusion of a portion of botrytised fruit.
This is the very opposite of a showstopper. It’s tendency towards self-effacement almost had me writing it off when I first smelled it. It’s not a matter of blandness, or lack of presence, but rather that its aroma and flavour profiles sink immediately into the kind of deeply comfortable place I associate with home cooking. For a cheap Burgundy from 2004, this still has plenty of fruit swirling around in its aroma, alongside some prickly honey and other evidence of the time it has spent in bottle. It’s round and gently inviting, possessing just enough freshness to present an edge alongside its plushness.
The palate is, as with the nose, surprisingly youthful. The entry is fruit-sweet and almost prickly in mouthfeel, playful if a bit simple. Intensity builds towards the middle palate, where complexity becomes greater and overall presence is more impressive. This really is a good wine given its age and price point. There’s a full spectrum of flavours, from intensely sweet to oddly savoury, all expressed with a relaxation that gently ushers the palate along. There’s too little light and shade as the line moves through the after palate and finish, although the flavour profile tilts more towards savouriness the further it moves along. Structure remains firm and drags satisfying texture across the tongue.
This wine could be plenty more — more intense, more complex, more varied — but its confident relaxation is very appealing and belies its lowly provenance.
Domaine de Roally