- Wines in Portfolio -
Type: Dry white
Site & Vines: 100% Chardonnay, mostly from massale selection.
East exposure, sheltered from the North wind that ravages the Clos Varambon. This site is warmer than the Clos and has a lower daily temperature range. While not systematically earlier, the ripening process occurs more rapidly, and there is generally less acid in the grapes.
Sits on a granitic bedrock and its soil has no clay or limestone. The soil is much deeper and composed only of quite thick silts. Here the water drainage is slower, and plowing must be made differently in order to avoid the soil’s erosion and becoming compact.
Vinification & Elevage: The vinification is made in recent 400 and 228-liter barrels, without new oak. After spending one year on its lees, this wine is racked and assembled in tanks for an additional 6 to 10 months maturing, allowing its natural clarification. It is bottled without fining or filtration
Age-ability: up to 10 years
Notes: An ample and generous wine sustained by a precise mineral expression and tropical fruit. There's a rich tension here between the unctuous and the saline.
"DU SUD" Bourgogne Blanc
Type: Dry white
Appellation: Bourgogne Blanc
Site & Vines: 100% Chardonnay farmed organically. The majority of the fruit comes form one of their former employees who has a parcel in Mâcon-Verzey. This parcel is in transitionto organic farming.
Vinification & Elevage: Vinified and aged in neutral wood.
Notes: 2016 was the first year the domaine had to source fruit due to extreme losses from a single day of hail. This humble Bourgogne sports "Du Sud" (aka From the South) on its label, proud to be from south of the Côte-d'Or.
"UNA TANTUM", Pouilly-Fuissé
Type: Dry white
Site & Vines: Vines planted in 1970. Limestone and clay soils.
Vinification & Elevage: The must for this wine is the final tail end pressing of all the estate vineyards after a 3 hour cycle in the press / the fermentation moves from stainless steel to finish in used oak barrels Aging: 18 months in used Chassin, Seguin Moreau and Dargaud barrel.
Alcoholic fermentation takes place only with natural yeasts in temperature controlled 30 hl oak vats and barrels. Maturation on fine lees takes place in oak barrels and vats, with ageing periods ranging from 10 to 24 months depending on the cuvee. The wine is fined with bentonite only when needed. After a long ageing on lees and a few attentive rackings, bottled without any filtration.
Notes: "Una Tantum" means one time only in Latin and this is a one-off bottling made in 2015. It's luscious, round, juicy and immediately approachable.
POUILLY-FUISSE, "CLOS VARAMBON"
Type: Dry white
Site & Vines: Vines planted after 1945; youngest vines are 20 years old. Majority are from selection massale.
Vinification & Elevage: The vinification is made in neutral 30-hectoliter oak vats, in 400-liter and 228-liter barrels without new oak. This cuvée is bottled after 12 to 18 months maturing, usually with a light filtration consisting only in a smooth Kieselguhr method.
Age-ability: drinks great young, can age 6-10 years
Notes: As time goes by the aromatic palette will evolve from white flowers and fresh fruits to an evocation of dry fruits, beeswax and spices.
"LES BIRBETTES" POUILLY-FUISSÉ
Type: Dry white
Site & Vines: 100% Chardonnay, all from massale selection. The oldest vines from within the Clos Varambon, the majority planted in the 1920's. Bunches are always constituted by small berries.
Vinification & Elevage: The vinification of Les Birbettes is made in 228 and 400-liter barrels from one to six years old. The wine is racked before the following harvest and assembled on fine lees for an additional ten months maturing in older barrels. A second racking is made to prepare the bottling, which is made without fining or filtration.
Age-ability: starts to express itself completely from the third year in the bottle, and becomes more and more complex during the following years. The good vintages of Les Birbettes can age from 10 to 15 years or more.
Notes: An impressive bottling that showcases the saline minerality of pure limestone influence. It has intensity and concentration certainly ageworthy but there enough forward characteristics to make the wine enjoyable on release.
SAINT AMOUR, "COTE DE BESSET"
Type: Dry red
Site & Vines: 100% Gamay. A prime site in this northern most Beaujolais Cru, the Côte de Besset is on a slope of sandy soil and volcanic rock.
Vinification & Elevage: 100% carbonic maceration, strictly according to the Jules Chauvet method.
The bunches are put whole in the tank, previously filled with carbonic gas, without any addition of industrial yeasts, sugar or sulfite. They macerate for a period lasting from two to four weeks or more without any pigéage or remontage. After pressing, it finishes alcoholic and malolactic fermentations in fairly old 400-liter and 228-liter barrels and is bottled at the beginning of summer without any fining or filtration.
Notes: Certain vintages can be deft and etheral and others meaty, dark and brooding. However, the volcanic influence always comes through and so does a sense of gravitas that pulls one in and demands time and attention.
Fabio Montrassi and Claire Gazeau have been making stunning single parcel Pouilly-Fuissé and an impressive Saint-Amour from their revitalized 6.5 hectare family estate since the early 2000's. The couple met as architects in Milan and returned to Claire's native Pouilly-Fuissé to take over the dilapidated family estate in 1995. The estate and vineyard had been in Claire's family since the 1850's and she had spent childhood summers working on the farm and vineyard so she was no stranger to the land or work needed. Upon returning, their first priority was revitalizing the soils and vineyard and they immediately began implementing organic farming.
Perched on the summit of the hill of Fuissé at 350m, the vineyards of Château des Rontets are blessed with a unique exposition. The primary vineyard, the Clos Varambon is north facing and based on solid limestone, which tempers the region’s inclination toward richness and weight. The couple has preserved many of their vines from the 1920’s and all new plantings are from massale selection. The oldest post phylloxera have their own dedicated bottling, Les Birbettes. The unique situation of each parcel in combination with minimal intervention in the cellar such as fermenting solely with Indigenous yeasts, ageing in minimal new oak, and light to no filtration, enable the domaine to consistently make impressive single parcel wines that give the Côte d'Or a run for its money.