Domaine Lejeune - Aubert Lefas Bourgogne Les Grandes Carelles WHITE 21
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Stepping into Domaine Lejeune feels like stepping back in time. There's no gleaming stainless or computer-driven equipment here, and the only mechanized equipment insight is the bottling line. Wines are fermented in open wooden vessels, one of which, encircled by 17 hoops of white birch, is the oldest of its kind in Burgundy.
Aubert Lefas is the current steward of Domaine Lejeune and, since 2018, he's been moving all production towards organic certification. The winery and several hundred barrels are housed in an 18th-century house located at the foot of a church steeple in Pommard. The location was originally the headquarters of Confrérie du Saint-Sacrement, an organization formed to assist struggling vignerons and was expelled during the French Revolution. Aubert is currently the president of the Pommard Mutual Aid Society, recreating the same assistance for local winegrowers.
Although Les Grandes Carelles carries just the "Bourgogne" designation, all of the fruit is sourced from Pommard. Auber grows a tiny amount of Chardonnay compared to his Pinot Noir holdings, so Aubert only makes five barrels of this gem each year -- that's roughly 100 cases. It's aged entirely in barrel; however, there's no new oak as Auber uses a mix of 1-3- year used barrels.
If you're a fan of old-school Burgundy, this one is for you! Give this a little air and let it warm a few minutes from the refrig, and in your glass, you'll be rewarded with aromas of red and yellow apple, leading to a super-rich palate of pear, citrus, and apple butter. The complexity continues to develop in your glass, and the finish is balanced beautifully by the persistent minerality and oak framing.
To put this in perspective, I this drinks like a baby Mersault, at a fraction of the price! It's perfectly enjoyable right now and will develop like a champ in the bottle for the next 3 or 4 years. Pair this with poultry, pork, and richer seafood dishes.
Insider note: Keep a sharp eye out for the red counterpart of this wine, arriving soon. It's the best vintage of the Grandes Carelles Pinot Noir I've tasted!