Roally Viré-Clessé


100% Chardonnay. Like Domaine de la Bongran and Domaine Émilian Gillet, Domaine de Roally belongs to the Thévenet family. Bongran is the original heart of it all; Gillet was added in 1980; and Roally came about after the 2000 vintage. Roally's original owner was an old schoolmate of Jean Thévenet's and a similarly minded vigneron; he retired and let Jean and his son Gautier purchase his 5.5-hectare estate. Now run by Gautier, each of the three Thévenet properties features classic Mâconnais clay-limestone soils and is farmed organically (certified in the case of Roally and Bongran) and worked and harvested meticulously by hand. Each yields a single wine, a Viré-Clessé, vinified and aged identically in the cold Thévenet cellar, varying only in fermentation and aging lengths.

As for Bongran and Gillet, the Roally bunches are harvested on the later side, destemmed, gently pressed and fermented in old epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts. The fermentations are long and slow, continuing into the following spring-summer at a minimum and taking up to a year (but never going as long as Bongran, which can take up to two years). Malolactic fermentation happens during this protracted primary fermentation. The wine is aged further in tank for some months and, like the others, consistently finishes with a few grams of residual sugar. Sulfur use is sparing, including a touch at bottling, when the wine undergoes a light, non-sterile filtration. The Roally is aged in bottle for around a year and is the earliest release of the three Thévenet wines, around two years after the harvest.

Fun fact: Denyse Louis and Joe Dressner "borrowed" the taste-du-vin drawing from the Roally label and adopted it as their company logo. It still stands today, with blessing of Thévenet naturally. 

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