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Bittersweet—in Rully with Vincent Dureuil

It has been quite some time since we have been in a position to send out an offer of Vincent Dureuil’s wines. Last year’s tiny allocation of his 2011s didn’t make it past the noses of previous buyers. By contrast, our allocation of the 2012s marks something of a windfall – still very small but certainly healthier than last year!

We all know that Burgundy has been blighted by excessively low yields over the past handful of years and obviously some growers have been hit worse than others. Sadly, it has often been the smaller, high-quality growers (those who seldom have any wine to spare), particularly those located around Beaune or to the south of Beaune, that have been the hardest hit. Even within this context, Vincent Dureuil‘s losses have been particularly savage, Rully being one of Burgundy’s ‘high-incident’ areas. It is only when you visit his half-empty cellars – where barrel after barrel is filled with water [to stop the wood drying out] instead of wine – that the predicament here really hits home. Where is Jesus when you really need him?!

But let’s take a leaf out of Dureuil’s book, who is attempting to make the best of it; the volumes may be bitterly small but the quality here is oh so sweet. Not only are the wines here, in my experience, peerless within the Côte Chalonnaise, they regularly compare in quality with the best of the Côte d’Or—a status not only recognised by the French critics, but also by his vigneron peers including the likes of Jean-François Coche. When you then factor in the pricing, you can begin to understand why this supremely talented grower’s wines are in such high demand and his allocations spread so thin. Dureuil is known to spend up to 14 hours a day among his vines during much of the growing season and it is this dedication and hard work (which carries through to the rigorous selection and winemaking) that has resulted in the quality of the wines that make up our current shipment.  These are simply outstanding, exquisitely pure-fruited and mineral wines, aka affordable Burgundy of the highest order.

If someone asks me which wines from Rully they should seek out, I pause for a moment trying to remember the pronunciation before announcing: Dureuil-Janthial.”  Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin is far from alone when it comes to struggling to pronounce the name of this domaine. To set the record straight; Dureuil-Janthial is roughly pronounced: [Doo-ray John-tee-arl] with a French accent on the ‘J’ as in zhuzh. Or, say it however you like! It’s the wine in the bottle that counts!

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