FRANCE

 

BURGUNDY-CÔTE MACONNAIS

 NEW  DOMAINE DES GERBEAUX, SOLUTRE-POUILLY

Domaine des Gerbeaux is a small estate created in 1896 by Jean- Michel Drouin’s grandfather Jacques Charvet. Today Domaine des Gerbeaux is farmed by Jean-Michel and his son Xavier within the family, the 5th generation of winemakers within the family. An estate of 17 acres located in the village of Solutre, dependent of the commune of Fuisse and the small village of Pouilly. The average age of the vines is between 35 and 45 years old with parcels as old as 90 years. The main part of the estate is in the appellation Pouilly-Fuisse with 12 acres. A small parcel is in Saint Veran and the rest is in Macon Village, with the addition of some common vines. The estate is farmed organically following traditional methods. Harvests are done by hand, in small lots. Most of the wines are aged in 1-3 year old French oak barrels.

Jean-Michel, together with his son Xavier, make a classic Pouilly Fuissé from some of their oldest vineyard sites in the Solutré area. This wine has attractive grapefruit , mineral notes and aromas of white flowers and acacia. On the palate the wine shows fresh citrus fruit, touch of spice and a little weight and roundness fill out the palate. Viticulture is organic in all but name and fermentation temperatures are unusually low to retain as much freshness as possible.

Both the Saint-Véran and Macon-Solutré offer great value. The wines are a far cry from the usual mass-production from these two appellations. As such, they are elegant, with aromatic, concentrated white flowers, limestone, crisp green apple and exotic white fruits. As you would expect, the Saint-Véran offers a degree of complexity that the delightful Macon-Solutré cannot. Both punch above their weight.

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SAINT-VÉRAN

Ref.: Y0000039          Vintage: 2020

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay

 
 NEW  DOMAINE GIROUX,  
CÔTE MACONNAIS

Yves Giroux created this estate in 1973 from divided paternal vines. Since 2009, his son Sébastien has presided over the destinies of this 7ha chardonnay vineyard, after a career in the automobile industry. Here, Sébastien makes three appellations: Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché and Mâcon-Fuissé.

Giroux’s goal is to understand and express the subtleties of the soils through his wines. He achieves this by finding a harmonious balance between the soil and the vine, without disrespecting the environment in which they function. This interaction between soil, vine & environment is what we now today call ‘terroir’. The understanding of the interdependent parts is the key to successful winemaking.

At Domaine Giroux there is no rush in the wine production. The quality of the vintage dictates both the processes and the duration. There are of course standard practices but Giroux is content to leave the wines (either on the lees or simply to mature) for as long as is necessary before bottling. When the wine is ready, Giroux will  bottle and even then he does not rush to the market. He releases the wines when he deems them ready to drink. We see this in his lovely 2017 and 2018 vintages. Most other growers are now selling 2019 and 2020. There is depth as well as Pouilly charm.  This is an estate to watch.

Though Sébastien has an impressive range, we have begun by purchasing the following three very fine appellation ambassadors, which are now available.

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GIROUX POUILLY LOCHE

Ref.: Y0000108          Vintage: 2017

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay

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GIROUX POUILLY FUISSE

Ref.: Y0000107          Vintage: 2018

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay

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 NEW  DOMAINE GUILLEMOT-MICHEL, CÔTE MACONNAIS

Domaine Guillemot-Michel is a 6.5 ha (16acres) family vineyard in the heart of the Viré-Clessé appellation, in southern Burgundy.

“As I’ve written before, this seven-hectare estate in the hamlet of Quintaine is one of the best producers in the Mâconnais and deserves to be much better known. Pierrette Guillemot’s father was one of the founders of the Viré-Clessé cooperative, but she and her husband, Marc, elected to quit in 1985, converting first to organic and then, in 1991, to biodynamic farming. In 2013, their daughter Sophie joined the team, followed by her husband, Gautier Roussille (author, inter alia, of an impressive guide to Sake). All of the domaine’s holdings are planted with massal selections of Chardonnay, with the oldest vines dating back to 1918. Like their neighbours, the Thevenets, the Guillemots harvest ripe grapes, fermenting and maturing the wines on the lees at their own pace. Botrytis, a relatively common occurrence due to Quintaine’s humid microclimate, is embraced. These are honeyed, concentrated wines that are imbued with remarkable concentration and energy and develop beautifully in the cellar. Their strong personality is a world away from the insipid and ephemeral whites that shape many consumers’ perceptions of the region, but that is precisely why they merit attention. Anyone visiting the domaine can’t fail to be struck by the meticulousness that the Guillemot family bring to all their endeavors—whether it’s their vegetable garden, their immaculately restored farmhouse-winery or their wines. But of course, it isn’t necessary to visit—you can taste the results in the glass. – William Kelley” - The Wine Advocate (, June 30th 2020).

Their Viré-Clessé is beautifully expressive, unoaked, with yellow fruits, orange blossom, smoke&flint. Thick and saline on entry, then seriously deep in the mid-palate, with suggestions of exotic fruits perfectly countered by strong minerality. This wine strikes a perfect balance between sweet and salty elements and it shows vibrant acidity. It boasts a density that few other northern Mâconnais can match. The 2018 vintage is ‘a point’ (as the French say)...drinking perfectly now.

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VIRE-CLESSE  'QUINTAINE'

Ref.: Y0000096          Vintage: 2018

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay

 
 
 NEW DOMAINE CORSIN,  DAVAYE-POUILLY

Domaine Corsin has a long held reputation for being the finest source in the region for the wines of Saint Véran and Pouilly-Fuissé.

Established in 1864, the domaine was among the first to label the wines as Pouilly-Fuissé and Mâcon blanc. Joseph Jacquet, the founder of the domaine, had only two hectares of Chardonnay when he started making wine. In 1971, with the advent of the Saint Véran appellation, Joseph’s grandson André acquired new vineyards in Davayé and Pouilly-Fuissé. His two sons, Jean-Jacques and Gilles, subsequently joined him in the family business. Jean- Jacques Corsin, who has recently retired, has passed along his calm and deliberate manner to his son Jeremey Corsin. Today, the domaine, now in its sixth generation, owns 13.6 hectares of Chardonnay in the Mâconnais.

The domaine’s Saint-Véran “Vieilles Vignes” vines now average 30- 35 years and while this has always been a consistent performer over the years, vintages 2014 - 2020 are showing impressive quality and depth. Furthermore, Gilles used Vosges oak this year (1 year old barrels) because he said, “ripeness was excellent so we needed not to change the character. Vosges oak is very aromatic but it is also very gentle. My wine is elegant yet rich. The quality we received is irreproachable”.

The Pouilly-Fuissé vines are between 40 years (one parcel) and 50-55 years (two further parcels) and this particular cuvée is one of the finest white wines in the region. For sheer length, complexity and harmony, this is a wine that delivers terrific juice at the price.

We have been buying from Corsin since 1991 and have purchased every vintage since. More than any other source I can think of, this is an address that has consistently produced high quality white Burgundy, at prices that are comparatively modest.

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SAINT-VÉRAN 'VIEILLES VIGNES'

Ref.: Y0000025          Vintage: 2018

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay

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SAINT-VÉRAN 'VIEILLES VIGNES'

Ref.: Y0000027         Vintage: 2019

Grape Varietals: Chardonnay