A domaine that I hoped to visit before the ‘lockdown’ – so they kindly sent me these 6 bottles to test at home.
Domaine Thibert Père et Fils
20 rue Adrien Arcelin
Tel: +33 3 85 27 02 66
This domaine is a family property, gradually built up since the first small plot was acquired in 1967 – the domaine’s holdings now cover more than 20 hectares of the southern-most AOPs of the Mâconnais, including Pouilly made from the villages of Fuissé, Loché and Vinzelles plus three Mâcon villages of Fuissé, Prissé and Verzé. The domaine is directed by the brother and sister team of Christophe Thibert and Sandrine Thibert-Needham.
Working with as many organic products as they consider proper, their wish is to do as much to preserve as much microbiological life in their soils as possible. The vines are pruned Guyot-Poussard to try and improve their longevity.
Harvesting starts early – early in the morning that is, maybe 3:30 am – doing the best to avoid the heat of the day and the extra oxidative potential that daytime heat might bring. The grapes are directly pressed – hopefully without needing triage – before settling in tank. Elevage is relatively long, 18-22 months, using barrels and then a period in stainless-steel tanks. There is occasional batonnage, but not for all cuvées, and/or not all vintages. Bottling is by the phase of the moon and they prefer to use a good quality cork here. They hope that their wines will age…
This is a seriously great set of wines – there is nothing here that I wouldn’t happily enjoy at home. There are some aromatic similarities, at this stage, but as a complete wine each retains its own character and the oak is very well integrated. A domaine to follow for sure!
At least 4 different cork suppliers here, but all good corks that seem untreated. Either they are spreading the ‘risk’ or they are not sure of a favourite yet.
Medium-yellow coloured. The nose has a faint biscuity reduction to start, becoming fresher and finer in short-order. There’s very good weight of flavour here, open in style, growing with layers of very fine concentration. A little salinity accenting the finish too. A wine of weight but still with balanced elegance. Long finishing. Really a very fine wine for the label that’s already fully approachable and likely to hold well – I only just finished my 2014s from Nicolas Maillet, and this offers similar top quality for the label…
Vines in Leynes.
A little more colour than the Mâcon. The nose – now thats a fine nose – waxy, with ripe but fresh citrus – super, and the oak is very subtle indeed here. Yes! That is a beautiful wine – there’s impact, intensity and vibrancy of flavour that hardly squares with the impressive concentration. The middle flavours suggest a little dissolved gas and the start of a more mineral character that’s wide and slowly, slowly fading in the finish. Frankly, that’s great St.Véran – bravo!
2017 Pouilly-Loché En Chatone
A lemon-yellow. Narrow citrus high tones, but a very generous and mineral depth of aroma. Here is a little gas spritz. The flavour incisive, mineral, and beautifully detailed – this is a wine to wait for but with such anticipation. Chalky finishing length that also needs time if you want charm, but here is already excellent wine, potentially even better!
A little more gold to the colour here. A wide, chalky nose – there is aromatic volume, but a wine that’s playing its cards close to its chest to start, maybe a little melting butter. Ooh, that’s sleek, sweeping wine of presence and growing intensity – a faint accent of barrel but not disturbing. Then comes a little salinity and still the shape and direction as from the start. More overt minerality and perhaps even more for waiting – the previous wine almost louche versus this one. Bravo!
2017 Pouilly-Fuissé Héritage
This an assembly of multiple parcels.
Also more golden colour. Aromatically similar to the Vinzelles, here with more width but less depth of aroma and a slowly growing accent of barrel. There is obviously some gas here.Still, extra mouth-filling volume and a vibrancy of flavour that’s most engaging. The finish is really impressive, holding more weight of flavour than either of that previous wines with a modest intensity, but not modest length of finish – I’d even say that this was more ready to drink. Excellent wine again.
Vines in the mid-slope with a southern exposure
A colour more intermediate between yellow and gold. Less volume of aroma, more the melting butter style of the Vinzelles with a little vibration of minerality below. Really mouth-filling, less overt density versus the Héritage, but with more open clarity here too. Wow – an almost chewy density, intensity, of flavour in the middle and finishing flavours. Wow! Great wine – Despite the cork seals, I’d be tempted to wait at least 3 years for this.