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Mâconnais 2012 from the Vignerons Artisans group

Speed-dating – Mâcon-style. Wines tasted in the Mâconnais 22 May, 2014.

I’ve been pretty critical of the 2012 white vintage in the Mâconnais. It’s full and it’s concentrated but it’s also largely lacking in acidity and the energy that this acidity brings. I’ve previously written that a smaller number of producers were able to overcome this default-vintage-style and deliver wine of both energy and interest – but I’m not really doing my job if I don’t suggest which wines to buy!

I’ve found something of a shorthand for getting good bottles and it’s by focusing on one group of growers who have formed their own group. The thing that they all have in common is their approach to sustainable work in the vines. The producers did surprise me though, by opening a few reds too. I chose to leave them in the notes for your interest – even the ones made from gamay! I haven’t isolated ‘exceptional wines’ for this particular report, because in the context of the vintage, almost everything here is of a high (recomendable) quality.

This group is called the Vignerons Artisans (link), and they work with an organic approach, ploughing their soils, trying to maximise the reflection of their terroirs. In the northern part of the M^connais you are just as likely to be served a red as a white wine – but, as mentioned, it’s not always clear if it will be made with gamay or pinot!

Because the group are split all over the Mâconnais, I had three venues in one day to meet them and taste two wines that they wanted to present (from 2012, in theory) – seven or eight producers at each venue – each getting around 15 minutes of ‘face/glass time’. One joked that it was like speed-dating! I think she was right!

Venue #1 – Northern-Mâconnais, the Cuverie of Domaine St.Barbe
DSC04371Domaine Pascal et Sylvie Pauget
Les Crêts
71700 Ozenay
Tel: +33 3 85 32 53 15

This domaine, presented by Sylvie, is currently producing a little more red than white, from a mix of pinot and gamay. But with various replantings they are heading in the direction of producing more whites. Everything is ploughed here, the whole 6.5 hectare domaine follows Bio principles but there’s no certification.

Wines are bottled 10-12 months after vintage. About 20% of production is exported, the rest mainly to individuals and niche retailers.

2012 Mâcon
From a half-hectare site on pink limestone.
Interesting nose with good depth – a good ‘chardonnay’ nose that’s fresh and faintly soapy. Full of flavour and nicely balanced too. Just a little exotic fruit but this is a direct and tasty mouthful, with plenty of density but good balance too. Yum!

2012 Mâcon-Chardonnay, Terroir de Tournus
More gravel and limestone here.
Here is wider, higher-toned aromatic. Oof! Direct, in-your-face flavour that manages to grow a little more in the mid-palate. Very intense, mineral and finishes on a long stony note. I like this very much – super!

DSC04372Domaine Julien Guillot
Rue des Moines
Sagy-le-Haut
71260 Cruzille
Tel: +33 3 85 33 20 15

Here is a domaine that has been Biodynamic since 1998. Julien’s father was actually the first vigneron in France to follow the ‘Biologique’ principles, way-back in 1954.

2012 Bourgogne (Rouge) Cuvée Auguste
Named after Julien’s grandfather who planted this Pinot Fin on red clay, just after the second world war.
The colour is rather modest, but the nose far from it – it’s very inviting and shows a little whole-cluster aromatic. Round and showing good concentration and a growing fresh acidity. This is very well-balanced and shaped. Finishes with good length. I like very much the style of this and the reprise of flavour in the finish too.

2012 Mâcon-Cruzilles (Rouge)
Made from a similar 20-25 hl/ha as the last wine, but this time from gamay, planted in 1953. This 1 hectare plot, with a high level of manganese in the soil, always delivers a wine that starts reductive – apparently.
The reduction clear-up rather quickly, offering roses and minerals on the nose. Round, with a very fine texture – again a modest colour (particularly for gamay). Fresh, interesting and floral fruit. From the flavour I would guess pinot, but the nose is clearly something else. A super wine and one that’s really interesting.

DSC04375Domaine Saint Barbe
En Chapôtin
Cidex 2163
71260 Viré
Tel: +33 9 64 48 09 44

Jean-Marie Chaland is the third generation at this family domaine, and specialises in Viré-Clessé. The domaine has been ‘Bio’ since 2003 and produces about 50k bottles each year.

2012 Mâcon-Burgy
From terre-rouge, old-vine gamay made with whole clusters (semi-carbonic maceration) with elevage in demi-muids (600 litre barrels). The elevage here is 12 months with no filtration prior to bottling. Jean-Marc notes that there’s not a lot of active limestone in the soil here – but then not much soil either! The yield was just 28 hl/ha in 2012.
Here is a deeper medium-plus colour. The nose is peppery. Round, with some sweetness on the palate. Plenty of acidity here with good density and balance in the mid-palate. Long finishing on a mineral note.

2012 Viré-Clessé L’Epinet
here there’s 16 months of elevage with a maximum 5% of new oak. This is the chardonnay/muscaté vine which is really found only in parts of the Mâcon – ‘not so fresh as the Côte d’Or chardonnay’ says Jean-Marc, ‘because of that it is usually elevaged in foudres or tanks.’
The nose is forward and concentrated – quite intense even – showing pear and mirabelle. Round and silky in the mouth with plenty of density – yet there is balancing acidity that leaches from the core of the wine. This finishes rather well. Yet it is ripe and concentrated – but I would take a second glass.

DSC04377Domaine De Chervin
71260 Burgy
Tel: +33 3 85 33 22 07

Bruno Goyard’s domaine is relatively small versus the Mâconnais average of 10-12 hectares, he farms just 4.5. He has worked in Champagne, Australia and the Côte d’Or but now focuses on doing everything by hand in the Mâconnais. Everything is ‘elevaged’ in tank – no barrels – but with temperature control and native yeasts.

2010 Viré-Clessé
Here the elevage was almost 14 months.
This has a fresh, almost muscular nose yet offers transparency and is at the same time inviting – a great start. Wide flavour perspective with some sweetness and super acidity – it manages to surprise even versus the nice nose – super-ebullient! The finish is of modest intensity, but it lingers well. Super-drinkable – Yum!

2009 Mâcon-Burgy (Domaine de Clervin)
The domaine has 1.6 hectares of red. Here is a wine made with whole clusters, so a little carbonic maceration to start with, followed by pigeage and remontage.
Quite a peppery nose. Round, mineral and with a growing well of acidity – here is a lovely mid-palate flavour with a faint savoury anecdote. Very tasty…

DSC04378Domaine de la Thalie
La Moutonnerie
71250 BRAY
Tel: +33 6 15 07 65 65

Peter Gierszewski, ex caviste, runs this 4.5 hectare domaine that produces wine from Pinot, gamay and chardonnay. Peter began his domaine in 2008, which is close to the Chalanges/Mâconnais border – so plenty of soil-types to work with, he says.

2012 Mâcon-Bray
Whole clusters from 60 year-old vines, then oak – though not much new wood. The elevage is for 12 months.
Medium-plus colour. Peppery nose, obvious gamay character. There’s plenty of energy and freshness – plus real intensity. Good mid-palate and finishing flavour too. Slowly mouth-watering – very tasty wine.

2012 Mâcon-Bray Blanc
From a west-facing plot set at about 400-450m altitude – normally 30-40 hl/ha.
Wide summer-fruit and pear plus apricot nose. Also a seems quite fresh with an undertow of something like toffee. Lovely, lovely freshness of flavour – there is both energy and interest here. Direct and long – I like this very much. There are longer wines, but not many that I would return as often to…

DSC04381Domaine Guillemot-Michel
Route de Quintaine
Cidex 674 71260 Clessé
www.domaineguillemotmichel.com
Tel: +33 3 85 36 95 88

Sophie presented the wines from this domaine – biodynamic since 1992. We have enamel tanks, no barrels and we use very little sulfur – and that’s it!” she smiles!

2012 Quintaine (Viré-Clessé)
Masalle selection from the time of Sophie’s grandfather – it reflects the local cepage, notes Sophie, but it’s not particularly ‘muscaté’.
It’s an intense nose, with some exotic, ripe fruit – yet no heaviness. Lithe, intense flavour and again with super balance. There’s a slowly develeoping saline note. A wine that attacks but at the same time soothes – so very yum…!

2010 Quintaine (Viré-Clessé)
A more flighty, higher-toned nose – perhaps with an extra mineral aspect. Rounder in the mouth, more comfily textured. Good flavour with plenty of acidity to bring it together. Also a very tasty wine.

2011 Quintaine (Viré-Clessé)
A finer and more mineral nose – I like this very much. There’s just a prickle of CO2 on the tongue. Concentrated flavour, but much more impressive is the intensity with which that flavour is delivered – it’s about modesty rather than outright power and seems all the more interesting for it – almost a floral aspect in the finish too. Yum! I think this might be my favourite!

DSC04383Domaine Thevenet
Quintaine cedex 654
71260 Clessé
www.bongran.com
Tel: +33 3 85 36 94 03

Actually there are two domaines here, one on limestone, the other on marl. The domaine(s) is Bio, uses ‘normal’ yeasts and takes 12-24 months of elevage ‘as needed.’

2011 Domaine Emilian Gillet, Viré-Clessé Quintaine
The nose is fresh, elegant and shows a whiff of honey. Mineral, growing flavour intensity and a nice width of freshness. This is very good wine – and it’s very long too. Fine!

2007 Domaine Bongran, Viré-Clessé (Quintaine)
Normally this wine isn’t released for 3-4 years. This is the current vintage offered for sale, 2008 will be released in a few months.
It’s a fresh and intense nose that mixes honey and herbs. A real exercise for the palate here – intense, muscular, not too ripe, good freshness. There’s an extra ‘pop’ of flavour in the mid-palate too before slowly fading into the finish. I’d really want to eat food with this – a good plate of jambon-persillé perhaps…

DSC04384Domaine Delphine et Sebastian Boisseau
A brilliant new name!
La Cour des Bois
71250 Bray
Tel: +33 3 85 50 06 02

Sebastian explains that despite being bio for the last 14 years, the produce went to the local coop. 2012 is the first vintage commercialised on its own. Everything is done by hand here, the grapes receive a long, light press ‘like Champagne’ says Sebastian. Fermentations are at low temp, the wines to be bottled in July/August.

2012 Mâcon-Bray Clos Rebitiot
From 0.3 hectares of 112 year-old vines!
This nose is beautifully fresh and faintly sugared – I already think I’m in for a treat! Silky, fresh and showing beautiful flavour, accented with a little salinity. Slowly linger. A beauty!

2012 Bourgogne, Terres de Chazeaux
Pinot, 40% whole-clusters – one parcel was destemmed due to hail. There was no pigeage here and elevage was for one year in older wood.
Medium colour. Perfumed – beautiful perfume – floral without obvious whole-cluster aromas. In the mouth there’s more structure and minerality than the nose suggests. A narrow, linear and reasonably long shape that’s blended with Volnay style aromatics. This will be a really interesting wine to follow…

DSC04386Domaine Guillot-Broux
Ludovic, Patrice, Emmanuel Guillot
Le Bourg
71260 Cruzille
www.guillot-broux.com
Tel: +33 3 85 33 29 74

Emmanuel introduced the domaine and the wines: Three brothers currently running the 17 hectare domaine that is balanced with red and white wine production. The domaine has been organic since 1954, says Emmanuel, (their website says 1978) the vineyards planted at 10k vines per hectare, like in the Côte d’Or, rather than the 8k average which is more common in the Mâconnais. The (white) wines are pressed direct into the barrels, without clarification.

2012 Mâcon-Cruzille Les Perrières (Blanc)
Only 11 months of elevage “Due to the difficult season – it was more difficult for the reds, but we’re happy with the result. This wine is usually more austere and mineral, this vintage we had yields of only 20 hl/ha and used 20% new oak.”
The nose seems a little padded, textured and ripe – but not overly so – there seems both depth and height to the aromas. Good freshness in the mouth and a growing intensity – it’s hard to keep this in your mouth, and after you swallow the perspective becomes even wider. Lot’s of barrel anecdotes in the finish – a Mâcon that’s trying to be a Meursault – in this vintage – but for all that, an impressive wine!

2012 Bourgogne (Rouge) La Myotte
The oldest vineyard of the domaine, planted by the grandfather in 1954 – ‘Lots of pinot fin.’ The cuvaison was for 25 days, 80% destemmed, with a little pigeage followed by 25% new oak elevage.
Here is a very fine and fresh pinot nose that shows faint roses but not obviously from the stems. Round in the mouth with some sweetness and a nice ‘cut’ to the acidity. Very good length – I like this a lot.

Venue #2 – Middle-Mâconnais, the Cuverie of Domaine Héritiers du Comte Lafon
DSC04387Domaine Nicolas Maillet
La Cure
71960 Verzé
www.vins-nicolas-maillet.com
Tel: +33 3 85 33 46 76

Here is a domaine that farms about 7 hectares between Mâcon and Cluny. Organic (Ecocert) they have always ‘worked’ their soils, and produce about 80% white wine that’s aged in tank, fermenting at low (15°C) temperature for 6-8 months. The soils are mostly east-facing and chalky.

2012 Mâcon-Verzé
Bottled July, 2013.
Ripe, but not too ripe core of fruit on the nose, overlaid with high tones. Lovely acid-attack. Some minerality and nice length. Super!

2012 Mâcon-Verzé (Chenin Blanc)
From a west-facing slope of 80 year-old vines.
Oof – this is a very different aromatic; more floral and perhaps a little mineral too. Again, there’s a fine leading-edge of acidity and a growing concentration of flavour. Good mineral length.

DSC04388Domaine Olivier Merlin
Domaine du Vieux Saint Sorlin
71960 La Roche Vineuse
www.merlin-vins.com
Tel: +33 3 85 36 62 09

Olivier has been making his wines since 1987. Everything is ploughed, hand-picked and then gets a slow, hard press. Almost all the lees go into the barrels.

2012 Mâcon La Roche Vineuse Vieilles-Vignes
From a blend of 5 parcels of vines with ages from 50 to 82. Only bottled 2 months ago. Normal elevage time is 13-15 months – this wine saw 16 months. Olivier likes to store his bottles for another 5 months or-so, before he releases them.
Soft, high-tones, seemingly a silky aromatic – it’s very pretty. Full and round in the mouth, ripe and rich even, but well-balanced. Lovely minerality in the finish – very!

2012 Saint-Véran Le Grand Bussière
In Prissy. An early ripening location that needs a keen eye on the ripeness. There’s not much soil over the chalk base.
Sweetness, direct, a hint of barrel cream and eventually a floral, white blossom. There’s a little more new wood here. A little richness again but once more it’s well cut by the acidity. Very tasty.

DSC04389Dainel et Julien Barraud
Le Nambre
71960 Vergisson
www.domainebarraud.com
Tel: +33 3 85 35 84 25

This domaine farm 11 hectares – Pouilly-Fuissé is the biggest production. Today it is the 5th generation of the family at the domaine, but it was their father who began bottling in 1980-82. Here they work the soil and use no synthetic chemicals – but they chose no particular name for their approach, nor a particular certification.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Crays
From a south-facing slope, this wine was bottled at the end of November, after 2 months assembled in tank – 20% new wood was used during its elevage.
The nose is relatively modest with a mineral core. This seems silky and quite muscular across the tongue – good acidity too. I’d say that this is on the ‘sleek’ side of rich. Good intensity of flavour and I like the mineral impression it leaves in the finish.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé En Buland
A north-east facing slope, below the rock of Solutré – these vines were planted in 1934.
Here the nose is wide, and quite complex too – with a faint, toasted bread. Fresh and vibrant in the mouth, with a lovely minerality and good intensity. The finish is pure mineral and slowly mouth-watering. Simply super! “It’s always the same, almost regardless of vintage…”

DSC04390Domaine Saumaize-Michelin
51 Impasse du Puits
Le Martelet
71960 Vergisson
www.domaine-saumaize-michelin.com
Tel: +33 3 85 35 84 05

Roger presented this 9 hectare domaine is based in Vergisson, producing mainly Pouilly-Fuissé and a little Saint-Veran and Mâcon. Husband and wife, Roger and Christine work together as a team both in the vines and in the cuverie, and in the last couple of years, daughter Vivian too. They work with the notion of terroir, but work with a wide diversity terroirs in Vergisson; varying micro-climates, geology and exposures. They have no particular certification, but “do everything to optimise the terroir”, and since 2006 have followed a biodynamic approach. Eight different Pouilly-Fuissés are made here.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Rochevots
Vinified in barrel.
Fresh, creamy oak notes and just a little padded impression to this nose. Lovely, direct attack though the fruit flavour takes time to grow. By the mid-palate you have an intense combination of fruit and acidity. The flavour holds very well – this is excellent – really tasty.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé La Clos Sous la Roche
More ‘recent’ soils, apparently, and a steeper slope.
The nose is mineral, fresh and inviting – there’s a little creamy oak here too, but more modest than the Rochevots. Lovely, silky and perfectly balanced with a beautiful, long and stony finish. Really super!

DSC04391Domaine Jacques Saumaize
746 route des Bruyères
71960 Vergisson
www.saumaize.net
Tel: +33 3 85 35 82 14

Jacques’ son Anthony presented this 12.5 hectare domaine, founded with 2 hectares in 1981. 60% of production is Pouilly-Fuissé. The domaine has a good average age of vine, close to 50 years, and vinify in 600 litre barrels. The vineyards are ploughed here, and although there’s no certification, the approach is Bio – or ‘more raissoné’ says Anthony. The wines stay in barrel for about 10 months, batonnage 1x per week and assembled for 1 month prior to bottling.

2012 Saint-Veran Poncetys
One parcel of south-west-facing vines, planted in 1944. Here the grapes are usually millerandé. Elevage was in 25% new oak.
Fresh, this attractive nose seems a little waxy with ripe fruit at its base. Round but a lovely balanced freshness too. I’m really enjoying the concentration in the mid-palate and even a dry-extract sensation – though maybe it’s too silky for that – lovely wine!

2012 Puilly-Fuissé Sur la Roche
From 45-50 year-old vines, quite high-up on the hill, so usually one of the later vineyards to be harvested. The soil isn’t deep here, the root very quickly hit the mother-rock.
This has a fresher nose, with some herbs too. Round again in the mouth. There’s growing acidity and a quite lovely intensity in the mid-palate. This wine really holds my attention. This is very, very good!

DSC04392Domaine Héritiers du Comte Lafon
71960 Milly-Lamartine
Tel: +33 3 85 37 78 09

I tasted with Caroline Gon who has been winemaker here since 2006. The whole domaine is certified Bio and works practically in a Biodynamic fashion – but without that certification. There are big old foudres here for elevage – a couple of newer (2009) ones too, plus many 600 litre barrels. The wines are normally elevaged in a mix of these.

2012 Mâcon Milly-Lamartine
An east-facing vineyard with very little soil – quite high on the hill so is late-ripening – 2 weeks later than La Roche Vineuse!
A deep nose but one that’s also fresh and mineral. This falls across the palate very easily – a little airy, no overt weight. It lingers very well, on a subtle mouth-watering note. Yum!

2012 Viré-Clessé
Lots of small parcels make up this cuvée – each one separately vinified. These parcels are usually harvested a little earlier.
This need some swirling to allow a small note of reduction to fade. Slowly, minerality and a little florality comes to the fore. Another wine that seems lovely over the tongue – lithe, flexible and fine, despite its energy. Discrete and long finishing. Excellent.

DSC04393Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau
Le Carruge
71960 Pierreclos
Tel: +33 6 80 65 13 19

I move to the other side of the barrels so I can see Caroline Gon in a different light – this time as winemaker at this new (2010) domaine, started with her husband Frantz, who previously worked at Olivier Merlin’s winery. The domaine is currently working en Bio and working towards Biodynamic.

2012 Saint-Veran
From a parcel of 80 year-old vines that saw 14 months of elevage.
A fresh, mineral, silky nose. A little richness and roundness. Growing intensity and acidity. Actually, I find super balance. This is a concentrated wine that finishes with super flavour and plenty of minerality – Yum!

2012 Saint-Veran La Côte
A small cuvée – the vines here have no more than 20cm of soil before encountering the mother-rock.
An almost herby fruit nose – quite interesting. Muscular and quite lithe with a growing intensity of flavour. Fine balance again. The mineral mid-palate flavour grows and grows and the finish holds very well. Super wine!

Venue #3 – Southern-Mâconnais, the Cuverie of La Soufrandière
DSC04396Domaine Denis Jeandeau
Le Bourg
71960 Fuissé
www.denisjeandeau.com
Tel: +33 3 85 40 97 55

Denis decided, after years of working in the family estate, to set-out on his own. He started in 2006 and now makes about 25k bottles from 1 hectare that he owns and another 3.5 that he rents and harvests. His own vines and those from who he buys, are produced under Bio principles.

2012 Viré-Clessé
Elevage was part in barrique and part in tank – about 15% new wood.
There’s plenty of freshness on the nose – a few faint herbs too. Energetic, with good acidity. This is rather mineral with plenty of dry extract – plus a growing, sweet acidity. This is very lovely and very easy to drink – yum!

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé
High-toned, faintly herbed wine. There’s just a hint more fat in the texture – 18% new wood – but I find fine balance. The flavour really stick to your teeth – it’s a long note, partly sweet, partly mineral. Very long.

DSC04398Domaine Pierre Vessigaud
71960 Solutré-Pouilly
www.vins-pierrevessigaud.fr
Tel: +33 3 85 35 81 18

All the domaine’s vines are in the commune of Fuissé, despite the cuverie being in Pouilly, smiles Pierre, who is the 5th generation of the family to make wine. Since 1995 he has worked the soil rather than use chemical treatments. These wines in bottle since April. Elevage is in barrel – 35% new, followed by 6 months in tank before bottling.

2012 Puilly-Fuissé Vers Agnières
A fresh nose, some density, faint flowers – nice. Plenty of sweetness, faintly padded texture but with glorious acidity behind. This is just a gorgeous drink – real power too. The finish holds very well. Excellent.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Vers Pouilly
Here the nose seems even fresher – some ripe citrus fruit too. A little more silky but with the same gorgeous acidity. – just a little softened at the edge. Hmm – now I really don’t know which wine I prefer!

DSC04399Domaine Château des Rontets
71960 Fuissé
www.chateaurontets.com
Tel: +33 3 85 32 90 18

This 6.5 hectare domaine has 6 hectares in Fuissé and the other half-hectare in Saint Amour (Beaujolais). Of their 6 hectares in Fuissé, five can be found in a single Clos – north, north-east exposed but it ripens well. In places there’s only about 10cm of soil before the bedrock. The domaine was certified Bio in 2005 but has worked that way much longer. The remaining 1 hectare of vines is situated just below the same Clos, but here the soil is a little deeper and the bedrock has changed to granite. The wines are vinified in foudres.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Varambon
The nose has a nice airy stance, supported by modest, creamy oak. There’s good freshness and a little silk after a faint fizz of CO2. This is a very mineral style of Pouilly-Fuissé – and a tasty one too. Slowly lingering finish – very good wine.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Pierrefolle
From the plot outside the Clos, on granite.
This has in interesting and deep nose – fresh and ripe too. Again a first impression of CO2 but it fades. Like the nose, the flavour is dark and deep – almost reductive, almost agrumes. Very interesting and very drinkable.

DSC04401Domaine Clos des Rocs
Clos des Rocs – Olivier Giroux
71000 Loché
www.closdesrocs.fr
Tel: +33 3 85 32 97 53

Olivier joined this group of vignerons this year. Located in Pouilly-Loché he began in 2002 and now has almost 9 hectares of vines. Each parcel is bottled separately – Loché itself has only 30 hectares, and Olivier has 6 of them! Elevage is a mix of 500 litre barrels and tanks.

2012 Pouilly-Loché Les Mures
This is high-toned with plenty of aromatic freshness and a ripe, herb-accented core. Good freshness and quite some width of flavour – energy and acidity – again in a herb-accented style. Classy and well-made, balanced wine – I’m not sure about that herb note, but this is one of the longest finishing wines of the day!

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Clos des Rocs
Here is a high-toned nose with an intense, ripe, citrus-fruit core. The flavour-profile is more mineral and shows (for me) much tastier fruit. Super flavour persistence – again. Some salinity too. Excellent!

Domaine Céline et Laurent Tripoz
Loché 71000
www.tripoz.fr
Tel: +33 3 85 35 66 09

Laurent presented his domaine: begun in 1990 it now has around 11 hectares of vines with 4 cepages: chardonnay, aligote, gamay and pinot. They planted 10 hectares themselves, so the vine-age is relatively young. To add a little ‘sparkle’ the second wine that Laurent opened was a crémant! We normally have round wines with a little fat, but the Biodynamic approach we use helps to preserve the acidity. It also helps that our elevage in tank – though on the lees – without wood.

2012 Mâcon-Loché
The nose is deep and faintly meaty. Round, the texture is just a little padded – yet with patience it slowly comes into balance. Easily the best part of this wine is the impressive flavour that runs from the mid-palate into the finish. – very tasty, and has good length too.

Crémant – NV
A very floral, quite pretty nose with some ripe pineapple. Tastier than the nose might suggest and with a beautiful line of acidity. Super balance.

DSC04402Domaine Château de Lavernette
Château de Lavernette
71570 Leynes
www.lavernette.com
Tel: +33 3 85 35 63 21

The domaine was presented by Xavier and Kerrie Boissieu. The vineyards are mainly around the château – but the domaine is quite south in the appellation, so that includes Beaujolais vineyards too! The domaine has 12 hectares of vines planted in equal proportions of chardonnay and gamay – the approach here has been biodynamic since 2005.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Cuvée Jean-Jacques de Boissieu
A high proportion of active limestone in this vineyard. The cuvée is named after an artist – one of his gravures is found on the label. This sees 15 months of elevage in barrel – 15% new.
The nose is both deep and concentrated – but there’s freshness too. Silky and round with fine balance – concentrated but elegant. Quite contemplative – lovely!

2010 Pouilly-Fuissé Vers Châne
The same climate of Pierrefolle, but with more mixed soils. This is aged for 22 months – 2007 was the first harvest – this are high-placed vines so are picked quite late.
Some minerality on the nose – this is quite pretty. Muscles, nice flexibility – the flavour really spreads across the tongue. – gorgeous mid-palate and finishing flavour – Super!

DSC04404Domaine Dominique Cornin
Savy le Haut
71570 Chaintré
www.cornin.net
Tel: +33 3 85 37 43 58

The domaine was presented by Roman Cornin who joined the domaine at the end of 2011. 2012 was his first vintage. This is a family domaine who work all their vines, cultivating 9.5 hectares – 8 for the domaine and 1.5 for the Hospices de Beaune. It was Roman’s father Dominque who created the domaine – grandfather had a polyculture approach, but Dominique chose to concentrate on wine. 1993 was the first vintage after retrieving the family vines from the coop. Dominique had a harvesting machine that came with the vines but decided to sell it – his neighbours told him he was mad – even more-so when he started to work with biodynamics. The domaine has AB certification since 2009. As they now have no machine, everything is hand-harvested, elevage seeing no wood, just tanks. The wines always complete malo.

2012 Mâcon-Chaintree
From an east-facing hillside. This wine was bottled in September.
A nice fresh nose, faintly salted. Good width in the mouth and again with a nice balance. Good intensity and this finishes with a tasty mineral note. Good wine and discretely long too.

2012 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cheorières
This is on red soil – but there’s only about 15cm of it before the rock.
Another nice aromatic – fresh despite slight padding. The palate is likewise faintly padded and a little silky and finely balanced. Another wine with lovely mid-palate flavour, almost creamy – part of the elevage here is in demi-muids before moving into tank.

Domaine de La Soufrandière
La Soufrandière
71680 Vinzelles
www.bretbrothers.com
Tel: +33 3 85 35 67 72

The name Bret Brothers is used for their négoce operation – Soufrandière is the domaine. The brothers’ grandfather bought the domaine in 1947 – and it’s a beautiful house. The vines were put out to contractors and also the coop. The brothers, who spent their holidays in Vinzelles, all decided they would study winemaking and take-on the family vines. 2000 was their first vintage – 2000 for Bret Brothers bottlings. They have, since 2006, organic, AB certification. There are 23 cuvées fro Bret, but some are only 2 barrels. In terms of volume, Soufrandière and Bret are about the same size. The domaine is just 6 hectares, all in Vinzelles – and there’s only 50 ha of Vinzelles.

2012 Pouilly-Vinzelles
Mainly from 1 block of 32-45 year-old vines. Two-thirds of elevage in tanks, one-third in barrels.
The nose seems faintly warm but there’s freshness too. Lovely round, shape with a fresh dimension to the fruit. The flavour lingers very well, indeed, super flavour!

2010 Pouilly-Vinzelles Climat les Quarts
From the top part of the vineyard.
A more vivid and fresh nose with faint agrumes. Lots of flavour dimension here – tons of flavour, tons of energy. Super-excellent wine!

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