Tasted in La Roche Vineuse with Xavier Greuzard, 23rd April 2015.
Chateau de la Greffière
71960 La Roche Vineuse
Tel: +33 3 85 37 79 11+33 3 85 37 79 11
Sitting high on the hill, before you enter La Roche-Vineuse, the domaine du Chåteau de la Greffière stands high on the hill – and seemingly proud too. There’s an ample vigneron’s house behind the Château that dates from 1585, though the château itself was only built in the 1830s. The owning family have been here since 1924 and originate from the Charolais – they went to the ‘colonies’ in the 1800s – Morocco – to make their fortune and bought the château on their return It came with 6 hectares of vines around the house – so these vines have never been part of the local coop. Today 17 hectares of vines surround the château, and all are domaine vines.
The domaine was a mixed farming endeavour to start with, but for the last 35 years they have concentrated only on grapes and wine, such that they have 42 hectares today. Xavier’s Father started with 4,000 bottles in his first vintage – today it’s 180,000 bottles, though it’s a bit more complicated than that, because 6 hectares are from the Château des Bois in Sologny, bought by Xavier, so now they have 2 châteaux! Fortunately the administration is not doubled as both domaines are under the same company. It’s an impressive barrel cellar in La Greffière which holds 180 barrels, above which are thermo-regulated stainless-steel tanks. The elevage and fermentation are in barrel, ‘but not for flavour’ notes Xavier. Big updates to the walls, floor and electrics are underway and will take a couple of weeks more…
Not surprisingly, given the size of the domaine(s) they need some mechanisation to keep up with everything; Xavier and his mother cover all the admin and sales duties whilst utilising 6 people for the vines and one to make up the orders, etcetera.
85% of production is white here including a couple of percent of aligote. The reds are a mix of pinot and gamay. Xavier mentions that they also make 3-500 bottles of Crémant too – they do everything except the disgorgement… Apparently it’s only sold from the caveau, but they’ve already won some medals to adorn the bottles…
Xavier on 2013:
“2013 was very complicated in the vineyards but fortunately not so many problems in the cuverie – late malos excepted… There were 18 days between the first vines harvested for Crémant and the last gamay vines we harvested!”
A good address.
2014 Mâcon La Roche Vineuse
In bottle 1 month.
A very fine fresh, super-attractive aromas. Big, round but balanced with lots of interest – fragrance in the mouth too. A weight of good flavour in the finish. Very, very good.
Fresh and a little saline – more dimension and a little more energy. Really interesting in the mid-palate. Only in bottle two weeks, but already super, almost no oak flavour here. Excellent
An assembly of 3 parcels with elevage in wood, the label only very discreetly shows the vv.
Deep, finely ripe and with just a little oak packaging. Round, quite mineral and silky but with excellent tension and fine complexity in the mid-palate. Long on a sweetly mineral note – also excellent!
2013 Mâcon La Roche Vineuse Les Ronzettes
Lieu-dit at the entry of the village, about 4km from the domaine. Lots of active limestone here with a southwest exposure and about a 25% slope. Barrel elevage.
Wide a little mineral, discreet with a little oak at the base. Super sucrosity and freshness combined with a growing intensity of fine flavour. Very modestly spiced with some oak. Very fine and with great length too!
2013 Saint-Véran Aux Monts
Also the lieu-dit name. South east facing, not so steep, in the valley always with wind so almost never with rot, but a little later ripening because of that.
A tight core of riper fruit with some faint oak notes. Really lovely freshness and with a vivacity of complex intense and fresh notes. There’s a little weight of texture from the oak padding, but pure wine here and excellent too!