The wines of Jean-Yves Devevey, Bourgogne

Jean-Yves Devevey has eight hectares of vines spread among the Côte de Beaune, Hautes Côtes de Beaune and the Côte Chalonnaise. He farms organically. These three Chardonnays from the Hautes Côtes really impressed. [Devevey makes both reds and whites.] He has just shy of two hectares of the Champs Perdrix vineyard in Nantoux, which was planted in 1991. Although the name translates partridge field, it refers to the pierreux (rocky) soil.

The domaine was certified organic in 2014 and Jean-Yves is experimenting with biodynamic practises. In the cellar, there are very low additions of sulfur dioxide, and the whites undergo long elevage in barrel. There is no batonnage, and the reductive winemaking style means that these wines do need a bit of time to open up. I tried them over a couple of days.

Devevey Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune 18 Lunes 2018 Bourgogne, France
12% alcohol. From the lieu dit Les Chagnots in Nantoux, at the bottom of Champs Perdrix. Soils are quite stony, on a slope. Spends 18 months in barrel. Give this wine a little time to open up. It’s quite taut and precise with a lovely spicy, mineral core and a fine acid line supporting lemon and pear fruit with just a hint of peach and hazelnut richness. There’s a touch of apple here, and it finishes with a spicy finish and a nice sour hint offsetting the richer elements in the wine, as well as some salty notes. It’s amazing how this develops with time after opening. It’s a proper white Burgundy. 93/100 (£23.75)

Devevey Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Champs Perdrix 2018 Bourgogne, France
Champs Perdix is at the top of the hill in Nantoux, above 18 Lunes. Thin soil with a lot of chalk and hardly any clay. This is really lovely. Very bright and fine with a lemony core to the palate and nose, but also complex crystalline citrus fruits, a hint of toast and honey, and even some pineapple and peach exotic notes. Such precision, with a lovely acid line that is felt at the sides of the mouth, framing the fruit beautifully. Shows good concentration and intensity. 93/100 (£21.50)

Devevey Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Champs Perdrix 2015 Bourgogne, France
13% alcohol. This is beautifully complex, combining spicy white peach and nectarine richness with good concentration and nice mineral tension. Lemons, apples, spice and honey here, but it’s not fat or formless: there’s a really nice tension to the ripe fruit. Lovely balance, and despite the rich vintage, this has nice precision and potential for further development. Another example of a wine that opens out so much after opening. 94/100 (£22)

The UK agent is Emile Wines

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