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Domaine Jaeger Defaix

Organic Burgundy from Rully that Won’t Break the Bank

While it’s an inevitable truth that certain appellations are more fashionable than others, it is equally true that the elite wines, from great producers, from Burgundy’s less-heralded satellite regions, have all the attributes to outclass many of the loftier names of the Côte d’Or.

Rully is, in our opinion, the finest commune of the Côte Chalonnaise. The vineyards lie just a short drive, minutes from Beaune, and share a similar aspect and soil type with some of the most famous Côte de Beaune appellations. Yet here, on the fringes of what Eric Asimov has called the ‘molecular obsession’ with the Côte d’Or, you can still source fine, 1er- Cru- level whites, with singular personalities, for less than the cost of a Bourgogne Blanc from a well-known producer further north.

Given the family connection, it won’t surprise you to hear that this small 4.5-hectare Domaine is run in the same earth-to-glass spirit as Didier’s family Estate in Chablis.

In recent years, the reputation of the wines from the best producers of the Côte Chalonnaise has blossomed; a testament to the commitment of growers like Jaeger-Defaix. For those new to this fine grower, Jaeger-Defaix is the family Domaine of Hélène Defaix, wife of Didier Defaix (of Chablis producer Domaine Bernard Defaix). Most of the Domaine’s vineyards are Premier Cru and brilliantly situated. All the vineyards are managed organically. 

The connection to the land here is strong and goes back three generations; the great-grandfather of Hélène, Henri Niepce, was instrumental in achieving and promoting Rully's AOC status in the 1930s. The first vintage under Hélène & Didier’s full control was 2004. Since then, they’ve built a strong reputation for cool, refreshingly elegant Chardonnay and sweetly scented, juicy Pinot Noirs, which cost appreciably less money than wines of similar quality from the Côte D’Or. Looking for outstanding value, quality Burgundy? Then the best wines of Rully should be at the very top of your list.

Currently Available

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully Rouge 2022

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully Rouge 2022

Diam. Jaeger-Defaix’s newest red cuvée (100% Pinot Noir) comes from a small parcel of Rully village vines purchased in 2011. Sited in the Vorot lieu-dit, the 30-year-old vines have been farmed organically for decades. This well-sited parcel yields small bunches of grapes with thick skins and powerful juice. The fruit this year was entirely destemmed, and the wine was aged in seasoned oak barrels (from one to three years old) for 12 months. This is a juicy, highly enjoyable, elegant and rewarding Burgundy with cherry and violet-scented flesh and the suave, powdery mouthfeel of top-notch Pinot Noir. Great value!

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully Rouge 2022
Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Les Cloux 2022 (1500ml)

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Les Cloux 2022 (1500ml)

Diam. Rully’s Les Cloux vineyard is located just south of the village, with south-easterly exposure on the sirloin cut of Rully 1er Cru overlooking the plain of Saône. Les Cloux is home to Defaix’s oldest vines, planted in 1944 on the classic clay/limestone mix found across the best sites in Burgundy. Since 2009, these old vines have been managed organically. Within Rully, Les Cloux is known for its ability to balance elegant and mouthwatering flesh with tangy grip and fine length, and 2022 delivers in spades. This 100% Chardonnay fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in older barrels (up to seven years old) for 12 months before settling in stainless steel. It’s a silky, textural wine, long and focused with a delicious salty-savoury close. Simply, a delicious and fine-value white Burg. 

“Fresh mid lemon. A more discreet nose than Montpalais, but clearly with intensity behind. Crisp white fruit, excellent poise, a touch of liquorice too, plenty of flesh but just really well made, with decent length.”
89-90 points, Jasper Morris MW, Inside Burgundy
“A broader aromatic, more obviously packaged with some oak. Mouth-filling, silky, generous wine but here is still a line of intensity and attractiveness – delicious, comforting wine!”
Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report
Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Les Cloux 2022 (1500ml)
Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Rabourcé 2022

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Rabourcé 2022

Diam. Rabourcé has traditionally been nicknamed ‘the Montrachet of Rully’ for the richness and power it delivers. It is a very steep site west of the village, above the highly regarded Cloux vineyard and just below the woods. The soils are mainly composed of white, limestone-rich clay. The Defaix vines are now between 40 and 45 years old. Rabourcé is always one of Rully’s first vineyards to ripen, and Defaix’s 2022 is a superb example—a wine of impressive depth and power. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and was raised in used oak barrels. Expect waves of fleshy, mouthcoating stone fruit and kernel notes with excellent intensity, culminating in a long, balanced, refreshing close.

“Slightly the highest alcohol but still no more than 13.3%. Pretty lemon and lime colour. The fruit has a tiny bit more ripeness than Cloux, less exotic than Montpalais. Again the balance is excellent with a really pleasing sensuality to it. On the softer side rather than mineral, but appetising nonetheless. Light youthful bitters at the very back, a complex Rully with some ageing potential.”
89-91 points, Jasper Morris MW, Inside Burgundy
Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Rabourcé 2022
Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Les Cloux 2022

Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Les Cloux 2022

Diam. Rully’s Les Cloux vineyard is located just south of the village, with south-easterly exposure on the sirloin cut of Rully 1er Cru overlooking the plain of Saône. Les Cloux is home to Defaix’s oldest vines, planted in 1944 on the classic clay/limestone mix found across the best sites in Burgundy. Since 2009, these old vines have been managed organically. Within Rully, Les Cloux is known for its ability to balance elegant and mouthwatering flesh with tangy grip and fine length, and 2022 delivers in spades. This 100% Chardonnay fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in older barrels (up to seven years old) for 12 months before settling in stainless steel. It’s a silky, textural wine, long and focused with a delicious salty-savoury close. Simply, a delicious and fine-value white Burg.

“Fresh mid lemon. A more discreet nose than Montpalais, but clearly with intensity behind. Crisp white fruit, excellent poise, a touch of liquorice too, plenty of flesh but just really well made, with decent length.”
89-90 points, Jasper Morris MW, Inside Burgundy
“A broader aromatic, more obviously packaged with some oak. Mouth-filling, silky, generous wine but here is still a line of intensity and attractiveness – delicious, comforting wine!”
Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report
Domaine Jaeger Defaix Rully 1er Cru Blanc Les Cloux 2022
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Country

France

Primary Region

Côte Chalonnaise

People

Winemakers: Hélène & Didier Defaix

Availability

National

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