Artisan Vignerons du Bourgogne du Sud – 2016 Mâconnais

Update 19.12.2019(23.8.2018)billn

Vergisson, 24 July 2018…

This tasting was a month or-so later than most years, but I still wasn’t going to pass up the chance to taste the creme de la creme of 2016’s Mâcons.

Like the last couple of years, (practically) all the wines were tasted in one day but in two locations – a northern Mâconnais tasting-station chez Guillot-Broux in Cruzille, followed by a southern Mâconnais tasting-station chez Domaine Barraud in Vergisson. A) Because of the number of producers, and b) because I was driving, each producer was limited to 2-3 samples. Four producers each left a couple of bottles in Vergisson which I tasted over the following 2 weeks…

These are the best winemakers of the region, and there are very many wines to enjoy in 2016, indeed many highly covetable wines too!

Domaine des Gandines

Domaine des Gandines
Route de la Vigne Blanche
71260 Clessé
Tel: +33 3 85 36 95 16

Florent Dananchet explains:
We had some hail and mildew this vintage – 2018 – it’s not easy in Bio! – All our work is done by the phases of the sun and the moon, so we will have a new label reflecting that from 2017 vintage. We’re now 2 years part of the artisans-vignerons.

“It’s a family domaine with my father and brother – actually my father is retired for a year but he still likes to tinker with the tractor et-cetera! The domaine was created in 1925 by my great-grandfather, Joseph Dananchet. My father took on the vines in the 1970s and since 2004 we have been organic, and biodynamic since 2012. Today the domaine has 14 hectares of vines; 4 hectares of Mâcon villages, 1.5 of old-vines in Peronne, 1.5 of pinot, 1 ha of cremant, finishing with 8 hectares of Viré-Clessé – when my father started, the domaine had only Viré-Clessé. 90% of our sales are in France, mainly the large cities – particularly in Lyon. There was a period in the 2000s when a portion of the production was sold in bulk, but we have increased bottle sales since the end of the decade.

“We now have a new cuverie from 2016 with better temperature control – 16-18°. 2016 was a difficult vintage with lots of rain early, some mildew too, but 45 hl/ha in the end. It was a slightly late harvest, beginning the start of October and finishing on the 16th. The frost didn’t cause a lot of damage but it retarded the growth by 2-3 weeks – hence the late finish. Of the two 2016 Viré-Clessé I’m showing, one is a cuvée that’s an assembly of many parcels and the other is a single climat.

2016 Viré-Clessé
8 parcels in 3 different terroirs, all vinified separately in stainless-steel with very little sulfur – elevage for 11 months. This cuvée contains the domaine’s youngest vines, of about 15 years old, but the average here is still closer to 60. Technical cork amalgum – Trescasses.
A warm, inviting ripenss of fruit. Round, supple, but beautifully detailed – really a classy combination of modest energy and pure flavour of precision and clarity – I love this! A fine wave of finishing flavour. Really an excellent start!

2016 Viré-Clessé Climat Les Gandines
This uses a normal cork. Les Gandines are the oldest vines of domaine planted by grandfather in 1925, the domaine taking name from these vines – there’s only 30 cm of soil over a rather red limestone, it’s stony – small stones – with iron in the soil. 500 litre barrels, none new – 12 months elevage. 8-10,000 bottles from this 1.5 ha parcel. Overall 35k bottles of VC made at the domaine.
A little more colour. More depth, a vibrant wine – more overtly mineral than the previous and faintly saline with good depth. Fuller, sweet, complex, lots of energy again, more layered delivery, really a great intensity of flavour in the mid and finish – such a fine intensity and persistence. A little richer but with super balance and energy. Drink the first wine for fruity precision and this for its layers of flavour. Really great!
Nicolas Delfaud

2016 is the first vintage for Nicolas, starting with vines recuperated from the coop, vines on a plateau in Verzé – it’s 400m altitude here so there’s sun in the morning and the afternoon – Nicolas has 4 hectares. Next year there will also be some Mâcon rouge and a St.Véran. Nicolas also works at the Château de Rontets. “It’s a great terroir but it’s currently in transition – the vines are from 1965 and I started organic viticulture straight away, but the vines had been ‘treated’ for years.

“In my elevage I use barrels but none are new. I’m slowly growing the amount commercialized in bottle, whilst reducing the amount sold in bulk.

There’s clearly a fine potential at this address:

2016 Mâcon-Verzé Le Bien Heureux
‘Harvested 6 October, high up but no frost or hail in 2016 – it was a lucky first year! The area had a great cleanliness in the vines at it’s the same this year.’ Sealed with DIAM-style cork.
A complex nose – open and inviting with sweet and salt, almost an agrume impression. Full, rich but with a shimmering minerality of fine purity – faintly saline in the length and with waves of vibrating finishing flavour. Hmm – complex and very interesting – excellent – super persistence too.

2017 Mâcon-Verzé, Le Bien Heureux
Harvested earlier, in September. This bottled 12 June. Nicholas is considering to slowly lengthen the elevage but the domaine is young and needs to sell something too!
Less complex, but more width, and some ripe fruit characteristics. Lots of mineral width, again shimmering with mineral energy – less depth and a still very long finishing. I’ve a preference for the 2016 today, but this has a slightly different face, and it is very similar in quality. Super!

Domaine de Chervin

Domaine de Chervin
En Chervin
71260 Burgy
Tel: +33 3 85 33 22 07

Bruno Goyard explains about 2018 and 2016:
This year we were touched a little by the hail, 10% in Viré but the rest nothing – there’s some mildew on the leaves, otherwise it’s okay. Fuissé may see an end of August harvest but the northern Mâconnais will be in September. 2016 is a vintage that’s hard to understand for the red, because it rained from April to July but after it was dry and warm right up to the harvest though… No frost, and the wines are so impressive.

2016 Viré-Clessé, En Chateleine
A nicely shaped bottle – since 2005. The 2016s are not yet for sale. Here a wine from 1.2 h ectares of 66-68 year-old vines, ploughed, 40 hl/ha production, no oak.
Ooh – a depth and freshness here, green citrus. Hmm – flowing, mouth-watering, a shimmer of deep, almost direct butterscotch flavour, energy – a dynamic wine – bravo – great stuff. Long. I can still feel it moving over the palate.

2016 Mâcon-Burgey
1.6 ha, three parcels, the youngest 33 years old – the oldest planted in 1925 – 0.25ha of these. 30 hl/ha (was 18 hl/ha in 2015) a shorter cuvaison than usual as it was extracting so quickly. Bottled after just less than 2 years, before the second following harvest.
Deep vibrant gamay nose with a hint of pyrazine in the mix. Round, actually quite rich, layered flavour. Long, endlessly mouth-watering. This is super and has an extra perfume in the finishing flavour.

Domaine Guillemot-Michel

Domaine Guillemot-Michel
Pierrette, Marc et Sophie Guillemot-Michel
Route de Quintaine – Cedex 674
71260 Clessé
Tél : +33 3 85 36 95 88

Gauthier Roussille (ex de Montille) explained a little about 2018 and 2016:
Difficult. We had hail on the 3rd July, not too important losses – some parcels 15-20% but most were more like 5%. Mildew is an important point. Only 5mm of rain last Friday but the sky was black. I thinkl the end of August for harvesting – probably anywhere between 20-27 August but probably 25-27…

“2016 was the most difficult vintage since the 1980s. Not too much frost, but a little. The vines slept for a week after, there was a little hail but not much, but lots of rain so not possible to get into the vines with a tractor – we were mainly treating on foot with back-packs. August and September were magnificaent though. We finished harvesting 12 Oct.

2016 Quintaine
Cork, from a French producer, only the wine society in the UK order in DIAM.
Not the widest nose, but it’s fresh, pure and very deep, a latent weight of fruit below. Like the nose staring a little narrow but widening and widening – beautiful texture – a combination of richness but freshness, then ripples of radiating flavour, complex and long – contemplative and truly excellent. ‘I tasted a brilliant sample of the wine open for 1 week!’ says Gauthier. Wow wine – you should decant this an hour or two before! Bravo!

Sophie Guillemot-Michel, Une Boulle Method Ancestrale Vin Mousseaux
0.20 ha, only 2 k bottles, 20 months sur lattes. Originally made the first batch for a wedding but liked so much, kept producing. Picked at 12.5° not the usual (sub) 11 of a cremant.
A deep and ripe nose, some quince in the mix – the freshness of a few bubbles bringing the aromatic balance. A full mousse, almost creamy, brings such a depth to the texture, then almost endlessly complex in a fine diminuendo of a finish.

Gauthier then tried to convince me to try some Marc de Bourgogne – I declined – but they are unique as a domaine that they have their own alembic – actually two – they distil to around 55° vs the normal 65+, looking to keep the most floral, perfumed fraction. The style means that they are much more fruited in style vs the smoky wood of most, so commercialise after a couple of years and put the vintage on the bottle – 2014 is already available Sophie worked with Hennessy and Gauthier with Remy-Martin, so there’s some knowledge behind all their work – including for the mountain of paperwork! The alambics are old, from the 1930s and 1950s but have been at the domaine only since 2012.

Domaine Sainte Barbe

Domaine Sainte Barbe
Jean-Marie Chaland
Rue En Chapotin
71260 Viré
Tel: +33 9 64 48 09 44

Jean-Marie on 2018 and 2016:
This year we were hit up to 30% by hail but it depends on the parcel – one was closer to 40% on the night of the world-cup final! There’s mildew too but it’s relatively under control for the moment – probably we may be harvesting 25 August.

“Regarding the 2016s, I think I have a little more tension in my 2017s – it’s not universal, probably it’s more about the date of harvesting than the vintage.

Jean-Marie tells me that the market is very good – certain of his cuvées he now has to refuse new clients. Both of the following wines from the commune of Montbellet…

2016 Viré-Clessé l’Epinet
No frost but mildew, what was on the hill was fine but the bottom of the hills was harder. 20 August harvest start, but very wet until July. About 50 year-old vines, planting density of around 6k. 16 months of elevage, a mix of barrel (one-third, 10% of the this is new) and tank elevage.
Ooh – this is not the largest nose but it has a bright, pure freshness. Supple, a little richness of texture, oak too but as much spiced as (lesser) vanilla. But like most in this vintage a fine vibrancy of flavour. Lovely non-oak finishing flavours. Simply delicious.

2016 Viré-Clessé, Thurissey
A small hameau, at the extreme north of the appellation at the end of the hillside, where it gets the evening sun – half a hectare of 100 year-old vines with very little limestone, mainly it’s a clay soil here. This having all barrel elevage, like the last 10% of which would be new barrels.
Deep, round, modestly oaked – it’s redolent of Pouilly-Fuissé. Very round, a saline richness but with the enviable purity and good energy of the vintage. Round finishing and with a lovely finesse despite the size of the wine. This is another delicious wine – I slightly prefer the extra vibrancy of the first wine but this is excellent.

Nicolas Maillet

Domaine Nicolas Maillet
La Cure
71960 Verzé
Tél : +33 3 85 33 46 76

Nicolas on 2018 and 2016:
This year we’ve only had a very small amount of hail, but across half the domaine! A little mildew too but the vines look great. Harvesting – let’s see when – the vines could be a little blocked by heat so might go into September so let’s see.

“2016 had a very small amount of frost, mildew again but still a lot of grapes. We’re certified organic, in fact we’ve practically been Biodynamic for 4 years but not certified – still, no oak, only tank elevage.

2016 Mâcon-Verzé
Biggest cuvee of the domaine – from the domaine’s 7.5 ha this represents practically 4 of those hectares – 45-50 year-old average age…
Quite a weighty nose but with a soaring perfume – yes! Golden fruit, but vibrant and lots of complex energy. Persitent really a long weight of good flavour – excellent wine.

2016 Mâcon-Verzé, Le Chemin Blanc
The vine age here is more like 80 years old.
A narrower but impressively deep nose – I prefer this – slowly adding white flowers at the top of the nose. A hint of gas, more complexity – perhaps because of that, certainly a more open complexity – here there is an extra intensity of mouthwatering flavour – today I preferred the first flavours of the last due to more focus – the gas destabilizing this a little – but the mid and finish of this are superior with a modest salinity too – bravo – great finish too!
Domaine Guillot-Broux

Domaine Guillot-Broux
Le Bourg
71260 Cruzille
Tel: +33 3 85 33 29 74

Emmanuel Guillot-Broux explains a little of 2018 and 2016:
2018 – It depends on the parcel – we have 5 to 95% losses – fortunately it’s mainly the entry wines that were worst affected. We have some insurance, but we’d rather have the grapes. Others in the area have more difficulties because they had no insurance. We had a big storm 27 April which brought a small amount of hail, but the real damage came in July.

“2016 – here it was a normal harvest as we had no frost. I think it’s a good vintage as we had a nice maturity at harvest, I think a vintage that’s not perfect as there was a lot of stress but still one of our very best vintages – no hail or frost so that helps! There was a lot of mildew and oïdium pressure but the vines resited well. All are sold out now – so not bad!

“Our 2017s are just bottled: It was a harder vintage than 2016 – Genevrières/Combettes lost about 35% due to frost – then we had dryness followed by a lot of rain at harvest – so the wines are almost a surprise and have little to do with hot vintages like 2005 or 2009 – possibly more in common with another hard vintage – 2013. For us in the end it’s a good, classic vintage.

So we looked first at some of the recently bottled 2017s:

2017 Mâcon-Cruzille Les Genevrières
Pale colour. A nose that today is domainated by its vanilla component. But in the mouth this has a lovely width and expanse of flavour – good freshness – a mouth-watering intensity of flavour, a nice vibrancy of flavour too – long and minerally mouth-watering. Despite the vanilla, this is delicious.

2017 Mâcon-Cruzille Les Perrières
A little less vanilla aroma despite a little more new oak – 15%. Adding a little floral perfume too. A little more richness but also a vibration of flavour – more minerally direct, plenty of oak – these wines will need a couple of years for my taste so that this oak lessens. A lovely vibration of finishing flavour – a little attractive structure here too, almost a suggestion of finishing tannin – lovely.

2017 Mâcon-Cruzille Clos de la Mollepierre
From the same zone of oolitic limestone as the Perrières.
Narrower top aroma but deeper and wider below. More volume and intensity, layered, fine intensity, lingering flavour, yum….


2017 Mâcon-Cruzille Beaumont
Gamay. Suffered less from the dryness.
A vibrant aromatic, pyrazine-inflected. Hmm, vibrant (I feel I’m overusing that word today…) wide, lots of energy, spiced and peppery with depth of flavour, slowly lingering with only a modest structure adhering to the teeth…

2017 Mâcon-Cruzille Genevrières
Here is pinot.
Less width of aroma but more depth. More aromatic, less pyrazine – there’s some whole cluster here. More freshness and volume here. Plenty of structure but with a good mouth-watering flavour and sucrosity to balance the structure. Holds a good length of flavour – this is to wait for but there’s much to be optimistic about here. Yum again!

Back to whites:

2016 Mâcon-Cruzille Perrières
Ooh – this is a bright an enveloping aroma – direct, much of the vanilla already absorbed – vibrant ripe fruit, mirabelles, quince. Beautiful in the mouth- a silky but intense width of pure flavour – laser-like minerality but couched in a slightly sweet and mouth-watering contrast that brings beautiful balance – bravo. It lasts so long too – double the benefit!
2016 Mâcon-Cruzille Mollepierre
Even more depth, no overt oak here, faintly quince again. More direct, but growing in intensity and width – so mouth-watering with delicious complex finishing flavour – mineral but less overtly mineral yet with more intensity and similar mouth-watering effect. This will open up farther – bravo again.
Domaine des vignes du Maynes

Domaine des vignes du Maynes
Rue des Moines
71260 Cruzille
Tel : +33 3 85 33 20 15

Julien Guillot explains:
This year all was hailed up to 80% – we have just one large clos so there was no escape – our clos was practically the meeting point of two storms. The vintage started well though, everything looked in perfect shape. Fortunately 2017 was fine for us, in fact I’m only just starting to sell my 2003s – they are really quite something.

2016 Mâcon-Cruzille Clos des grands vignes du Maynes Aragonite
Not an easy year, these chardonnany vines a mix of three ages, the oldest from the 1930s. No frost in 2016.
A fine, golden nose, precise and showing a quince fruit. Hmm – this is beautifully silky and rather mineral – saline edged and super-mouth-watering. Mouth-watering, fruit-savoury a delicious combination. What a wine – bravo!

2016 Bourgogne, Cuvée Auguste
The same monks that had the clos de beze in 909, this from 910. Pinot – red clay over the limestone – the archive for this are all in Paris….
Really a very forward and perfumed nose, almost with a hint of smoke. Muscular, finely balanced, showing a great structure and associated energy. A dynamic wine – long – for the conoseurs as there is limited padding here – or just wait 6-10 years, but the freshness of fine pinot flavour is palable. I find this absolutely delicious with a rigorous but not pointed structure.

And now the venue moves to the cuverie of Domaine Barraud in Vergisson:

Domaine Robert-Denogent

Domaine Robert-Denogent
Le Plan
71960 Fuissé
Tel : +33 3 85 35 65 39

Nicolas Robert on the vintage so far:
2018? Well for the moment the vines are in great shape, we’ve had no hail in this area and the grapes look fine.

2016 St.Veran Les Pommards
We usually harvest late here, high up was hailed badly in 2016 – we made only 5-7 hl/ha. Pressed and decanted, 1g sulfur and that’s it, racked, no battonage. only in bottle 3 weeks.
A modest but fine nose. A big volume in the mouth – but complex, saline, there’s sucrosity – energy. This is great fun – a delicious mouth-ful of wine. Long with minerality in the finish. Excellent.

2015 Pouilly-Fuissé La Croix
Bottled recently after 30 months of elevage – hence the vintage – old vines on schist, ‘one of warmest areas in the whole Mâconnais – there’s never acidity!’
Really a nice mineral depth to this nose. Wide, mineral – really a mouthful of wine – in fact it’s vibrating with minerality! There’s structure here too – it wears its 14° very well. Layers of finishing flavour – carafe or have some patience. Super-impressive wine!

Domaine Dominique Cornin

Domaine Dominique Cornin
Savy le Haut
71570 Chaintré
Tel: +33 3 85 37 43 58

Romain Cornin, pouring the wines:

2016 Macon-Chantré Serreuxdières
Uniquely make the elevage in tank so no barrels here. 11 months on lees and bottled just before new harvest. This harvested start of September.
A pretty aromatic volume with a nice modestly sweet depth. Ooh, a hint of salinity but a sinuous sweetness and structure. Super waves of finishing flavour – bravo!
2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Le Chevrières
This will be bottled tomorrow – so it’s a tank sample. Vines that are high up over the village of Chaintré – crinoidal limestone here – all elevage in demi-muids for this, with a long stay in tank afterwards – 22-23 months in total and no fining or filtration.
A big and broad nose. Beautiful in the mouth – mineral, expansive, but also growing with flavour from the core – expanding and expanding. This is great wine, hardly touched by oak flavour and beautifully transparent.
Chateau de Lavernette

Château de Lavernette
71570 Leynes
Tel: +33 3 85 35 63 21

Kerrie de Boissieu explains:
We’re the only certified biodynamic domaine in Pouilly-Fuissé. With 13 hectares including Beaujolaios Villages and St.Amour – we are right where the granite melts into limestone. But the château is not just vines, it’s a farm with animals and fruit.

“2016 is a vintage that I think of as much more aromatic than 2015 or 2017 on either side. We harvested 1 month later than those vintages, starting 25 September. There was a little hail this year – it seems each year has its challenges – but this year has been the best since 2005 – keeping fingers crossed!

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Maison du Villard
Lieu-dit name. Elevage in cement for 16 months
A pretty fruit on the nose – narrower than previous wines but attractive all the same. Hmm, layered wine, sinuous, very mineral but balanced by the sweetness of ripe fruit – this needs a little time in the cellar – but not too much – lots of relaxed complexity over the palate and super long – yum!

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Maison du Villard Cuvée Jean-Jacques de Boissieu
Celebrating a local artist. Longer elevage and in barrels – 20% new – mid-slope part of the climat.
Fresh narrow, attractive nose – a hint of spice but no vanilla. Melting flavour over the palate – structural but all smooth-edged – melting over the palate. Impressive wine. ‘I hope you can’t taste the oak, I want my wines to be ballerinas’ says Kerrie!

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Vers Chaine
Next to Chateau de Rontets and Denogent – bordered with peach trees – to be bottled tomorrow after 22 months elevage – all barrel, no batonnage.
A vibrant nose, more yellow fruit, some oak here but very perfumed. Hmm much more direct and mineral, melting flavour. Ooh great wine – bravo.

Vines in Chaintré, just over the street from Maison du Villard, this 100% chardonnay – they also have a blanc de noirs made from gamay. Use a hand-cranked gyropallet. Brut nature, no added sugar – picked between 11.5 and 12°. This disgorged in January, tirage in 2016.
The nose is a great invitation – but don’t sniff too vigorously or the bubbles go up your nose – Mirabelle fruit. Lots of mousse. Actually direct and a little mineral – great depth of flavour, long too. Bulky flavour but with super clean palate to finish – nice – it asks you to take another sip.

Domaine du Clos des Rocs

Domaine du Clos des Rocs
Clos des Rocs
71000 Loché
Tel: +33 3 85 32 97 53

Olivier Giroux explains:
2018 – We’ve had no hail, but there’s a bit of mildew in the bottom of the hills.

“2016 – Hail, but less than some – about 40% which came the 13 April. But the grapes that we harvested were beautiful – just not many!

2016 Pouilly-Loché En Chantone
A modest width of aroma but fine, faintly quince-fruited, mirabelle too. Rich, beautifully textured but there is structure and energy too – this is a luxurious wine – such a tasty wine – delicious.

2016 Pouilly-Loché Clos des Rocs Monopole
One year in 500 litre barrels assembling after into stainless-steel bottled end of April this year – no filtration
A little more acid-style fruit – more apricot that peach – nice. Wide, open less overtly rich than the last, more of a cushioned intensity. Long, apricot stone finishing – long and top. Yes! Bravo.
Domaine Sébastien Giroux

Domaine Sébastien Giroux
Les Molards
71960 Fuissé
Tel: +33 3 85 35 63 64

Sébastian Giroud, took on his parent’s domaine in 2009, after a few stages at other domaines and studies in Davayé – today the domaine covers 7 hectares, producing 3 appellations. Sébastien has 1 hectare in Pouilly-Loché, 2 in Mâcon-Loché and the rest in Pouilly-Fuissé. The holdings are morcellated – lots of small parcels – to an extent that it’s almost impossible to make particular climates. The reason for the multitude of small parcels is mainly through constant division through the family. Sébastien explains that in 2016 he produced only 13 hl/ha across the domaine due to the hail in some places, overall he lost 30%.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Raidillons
50% barrel elevage, 400 litre barrels, followed by 6 months in tank after assembling, this bottled in June.
Fine – modest of dimension – but pure and fresh. Wide on the palate though – beautiful minerality slowly melting at the dges – this need a carafe or some patience but the shape and clarity is very fine – excellent.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles-Vignes
All bottled with natural cork – this a single parcel near the Plateau de Cras, 0.6 ha – lots of millerandes. All barrel for 12 months – 400l – before 6 months in tank. It’s a much sunnier parcel.
An airy nose, faintly with white flowers. A little more round than the last, no less mineral and again I really love the structure of this wine – it should age beautifully – if the corks allow. Padded in the long finish – really some finishing flavour here. Excellent wine again… perhaps great with time!

Domaine de la Sarazinière

Domaine de la Sarazinière
Le Bourg
71960 Bussières
Tel: +33 6 11 96 85 27

Guillaume Trebignaud explains:
We’re very happy this year – so far – there’s been no hail though we could do with a little more rain.

“2016 is simply a classic vintage with a later harvest – but correct volumes – as we avoided the hail that year too!

2016 Mâcon-Bussières Cuvée Claude Seigneuret
All barrel elevage, 12 months, all malo done. The old vines of the domaine, part from end of 1930s the rest from the 1950s.
A modest nose with just a hint of herb in the middle. Hmm, but the flavour belies the nose with width and plenty of energy to delicious and concentrated flavour – a little more lime-inflected than most. Top!

2016 Macon-Bussières Les Devants
Gamay, also a very old vine, hand harvested – about 1 month of cuvaison, all destemmed no new oak
A bright, vibrant nose – pure, almost floral. Plenty of acidity, indeed a little mouth-puckering – to wait for I think – but it’s certainly fresh, vibrant and has plenty of floral aspects – the finish is great!

Domaine Merlin

Domaine Merlin
Domaine du Vieux Saint Sorlin
71960 La Roche Vineuse
Tel: +33 3 85 36 62 09

Paul Merlin explains:
We’ve had no hail this year – yet! It all looks great, with the possibility of harvesting just a couple of days later than 2017 – the vintage looks quite similar too…

“2016 was also a good vintage for us, we have good acidities, and, iomportantly, no hail!

All wines are sealed with natural cork.

2016 Macon Roche Vineuse Vieilles-Vignes
14 months of elevage, barrel elevage – normal size barrels. Vines between 40 and 80 years of age – parcel selections – all vinified separately.
A hint of toasty reduction on the nose. Modest volume in the mouth but there is a very fine texture and faintly saline mineralty – the salinity accentuating in the mid and finishing flavour. A little iodine style here. Tasty!

2016 Saint Veran Le Grand Bussière
Parcel selection, 18 months of elevage for this one.
Bright yellow fruit – an open and inviting, pure nose with just the faintest suggestion of oak. More volume in the mouth, mineral and fine, a super finishing wave of fine flavour – not the salinity of the first wine despite the minerality. This is really a fine SV – bravo!
Domaine Jacques Saumaize

Domaine Jacques Saumaize
746 route des Bruyères
71960 Vergisson
Tel: +33 3 85 35 82 14

Anthony Saumaize explains:
2018 – no damage so far. We would appreciate a little rain to complete the maturity of the grapes but all is looking quite good so far – fingers crossed.

“2016 – badly affected by hail a the start of the year – 80% of the domaine was hit, in the end we lost about half the potential harvest.

2016 St.Véran La Vieille Vigne des Creches
65 years old vines near Davayé. 100% barrel elevage, 20% new – 9 months in barrel followed by two months in tank – would like to have done 18 months but didn’t have much wine
A nose that invites with its combination of freshness and a fine sweet edge to the yellow/apricot mix of fruit aroma. Round, supple a little richness of texture – beautiful texture – mineral, no sharp edges – eventually with a little saline touch. Simply a gorgeous wine – it could be even better with a touch more energy – but gorgeous.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Courtelongs
Vines looking towards Vergisson.
A fine and vibrant depth of aroma. Energy – more than the St.Veran, lots of small complexities and again a little salinity – though less. Waves of long-lasting flavour – a great finish. Bravo!
Domaine Saumaize-Michelin

Domaine Saumaize-Michelin
51 Impasse du Puits – Le Martelet
71960 Vergisson
Tél : +33 3 85 35 84 05

Roger Saumaize explaining:
2018 is really great so far – we are ahead of the mildew, and hail is pretty much insignificant. Normally we have lots of millerandes and not much vegetation, but this year it’s a nice formation. In fact I’d say magnificent. Spring was quite dry but a lot of rain came late in the springtime – optimal for the mildew! But currently vines are suffering a little from the heat – we could do with a little rain.

“In 2016 half of the domaine was severly hit by hail in April – the rest was fine, indeed a full yield – so we saw really big differences. Some small effect from frost but not much. We actually harvested for 14 days – the longest harvest of my career – because we stopped twice to wait for the maturity.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé La Marechaude
Vines recovered in 2014 – totally unmechanizable – it’s almost a wall! But it’s a magic corner surrounded by rock – it’s a privilege to have it and to work in it!
Not so wide but there’s a deliciously vibrant middle to this nose. Hmm, a touch of oak but vibrantly complex, mineral, structural wine but still delicious and very long… Excellent.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Sur la Roche
1.6 ha – Same elevage – one year in barrel with lees, assemble and then bottle in October after the harvest.
A little extra width of aroma but a little tighter. Vibrant again – layers of flavour in the mid-palate as it relaxes over the tongue. Ooh this is good – but a little discreet today – carafe or wait a couple of years (or more!)

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Courtelongs
North facing on scree, it actually gets the morning sun before the south-facing parts but categorically refused by INAO for 1er cru as it’s north facing.
A more mineral, reductive agrume – it could be certain producers’ Meursault. Ooh – this is vibrantly dynamic wine – growing in intensity, perhaps the greatest wine of the tasting today – so far – it’s anyway a bravo wine! Such a great finish!
Domaine Pierre Vessigaud

Domaine Pierre Vessigaud
Chemin des Concizes
71960 Solutre – Pouilly
Tel: +33 3 85 35 81 18

Francoise succinctly explains:
Actually, 2018 is quite an easy year so far – we were lucky enough to have avoided the hail.

“2016 is a vintage that we love.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé vers Agnières
An attractive depth of aroma – not too wide. Faintly touched by oak, but modestly so. Lots of mouth-filling volume – finely wrought with lots of minerality and a fine touch of salinity. Really becoming more and more complex in the mid-palate – this is excellent

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé Vers Pouilly
12 months in barrel, then 6 months in stainless-steel before bottling.
A little extra depth and hight to the aromas here. More freshness of minerality – I would say more clarity – really a beautifully pure wine – almost racy but with beautiful packaging to the structure. Bravo – a great wine.
Domaine Daniel et Julien Barraud

Domaine Daniel et Julien Barraud
Le Nambre
71960 Vergisson
Tel: +33 3 85 35 84 25

Julien explains:
2018 is looking really fine for the moment. We need some rain for the best harvest and to avoid too concentrated, or otherwise unbalanced wines. No hail here, that was more in the north of the Mâconnais.

“2016 a more difficult vintage? It depends on the village – some had more or less hail – but there were parts with nothing – Vergisson, for instance, had none.

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé En France
There’s more clay and some sand here, lightly mixed with limestone.
Hmm – wide, silky, concentrated with growing width and depth of flavour. Serious wine – it needs time or a good carafe – it’s mineral but balanced. Be patient but this is excellent!

2016 Pouilly-Fuissé La Verchère
60 year-old vines, plain-south facing – scree, limestone and marl – deep soil with a good reserve of water – ‘I’ve never seen the vines too dry – gives generous wine.’ Vinification is identical. All barrel with 20% new oak.
Hmm – plenty of breadth to the nose. Luxuriously, silky textured. Really mineral again with such a concentration – yet the wine remains mobile – always changing over the palate. Extra finishing complexity in the finish – really distinguishing this wine – bravo!
And finally, some samples tasted at home:

In the order of tasting:

2016 Château des Rontets, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Birbettes
Quite a deep yellow colour. A nose of both weight and depth, almost a hint of aniseed to add to a few barrel notes and a luxuriant yellowness of ripe citrus. Good volume, a very nice play over the palate with clarity and a little salinity. The finish is mouth-watering and mineral – don’t drink this too cold as it’s more blocky like that. A super wine.

>2016 Château des Rontets, Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Varambon
A similar shade of yellow. This nose is narrower but seemingly deeper too, certainly on a more subtle level, though with a similar oak packaging to the Birbettes. More direct, more mineral and mouth-watering – ooh this is good! Flavour leaching from every facet. The first wine cossets, this engrosses – what a great wine! Bravo, and it will get better and better as the oak fades.

2016 Héritiers Comtes Lafon, Mâcon-Chardonnay Clos de la Crochette
And not just any old DIAM for this bottle – a DIAM10 – no-less.
Medium lemon-yellow colour. A narrow nose, but it’s freshly yellow-citrus fruited and offers hints of an inviting, more mineral depth. Hmm, weighty, mineral, becoming wide and offering a super, meltingly mineral palette of flavour. This floats over the palate with commendable purity and begs you to take another sip – excellent!

2016 Héritiers Comtes Lafon, Viré-Clessé
A much more open , if still yellow citrus impression – ripe but alive. More line and more intensity versus the weight of the Crochette. Really a lovely and effusive style the fine finish. This is wine of more finesse versus the fulness of the previous but with no lack of intensity – I would wait a little longer for this one – bravo!

2016 Frantz Chagnoleau, Mâcon-Villages Clos St.Pancras
A modest yellow colour. The nose has a certain sweetness – but with interest too. Round, mobile good energy, if not the most overt. There is a clinging, but not cloying, sweetness here – like the nose – and I’ve an impression of custard flavour – if not directly vanilla. A crowd-pleaser – commercial if you like – yet with much to like – I expect it will just get better and better as the volatile barrel elements fade – underneath is a sleek and polished wine. Very good…

2016 Frantz Chagnoleau, St.Véran Prélude
I have the impression that colour is a little deeper here. The nose has a weighty barrel component, just like the last. In the mouth there is more volume and more energy – this has a real zing and joy about it. The oak component is less overt and less obviously sweet here – this is really quite a wine – simply excellent.

2016 La Soufrandière, St.Véran La Bonnode
Modest yellow coloured. The nose is more airy than many previous wines – open, almost delicate. Good volume, silken sweetness, with a very fine middle of complexity. Holding long. Simply a very delicious wine – sweet but never heavy, open and almost playful over the palate. An absolute winner!

2016 La Soufrandière, Pouilly-Fuissé, En Chatenay
Modestly yellow coloured – just like the St.Véran. Here is a little more depth of aroma, modest width but a little vibration of interest, nonetheless. Much more mouth-filling and energetic – still not a wine of bulk or heft – but it doesn’t need to be; here is width of flavour, energy and a certain airy style reminiscent of their previous wine – but altogether with more pizazz! Bravo!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

Burgundy Report

Translate »

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly:;