September 4, 2017
...More White Burgundies
small property is the work of Michel Morey, whose wife's family is the
"Coffinet" part of the family tree.
With holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet, we've been delighted with the red
wines made by this domaine.
Unusually good is their entry-level Bourgogne Blanc. Few
winemakers devote much in the way of oak to this level of white Burgundy,
but Morey-Coffinet's shows a whiff of wood. The 2012 has a bright,
stony, minerally edge to it which we like quite a bit. Nice richness, too.
the 2012 vintage we have a stellar Chassagne-Montrachet which is a beautiful
example of Morey-Coffinet's style. It comes from a site called
Les Houillères and this is a small patch of vines at
the northern part of Chassagne not far, actually, from Montrachet.
It's a south, southwest-facing site. Morey-Coffinet's wine is a
classic white Burgundy showing toasty and smoky notes and a minerally, stony
character. It's crisp and bone dry, of course. If you're
interested in tasting what White Burgundy is all about without dropping a
few hundred bucks on a trophy bottle, check out this wine, please.
Well...sold out now...
recently tasted the 2012 Premier Cru of La Romanee.
Now this is a grand
It is a showpiece of both White Burgundy and Chardonnay.
Morey-Coffinet owns about 2 acres of La Romanee and has made a wonderfully
intense White Burgundy, using about one-third new oak for the wine.
The vintage produced a smaller-than-normal yield and the wine spent a tad
longer in wood than normal, apparently, as the malolactic fermentation took
more time than usual to finish...the resulting wine has great fragrances of
pear and peach-like fruit, with perhaps a touch of apricot. Add in the
spice notes from the oak and lees time and you have an exceptional
wine. Don't miss this.
- Currently in stock:
2012 Bourgogne Blanc $29.99
2012 Chassagne-Montrachet "Les
Houillères" Sold Out
2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru LA ROMANEE Sale $74.99
- Owning something like 5 hectares of vines, Michel Niellon is an
exceptional winemaker. We are periodically fortunate enough to receive some bottles of his
glorious white Burgundies. His wines, noted for their intensity and richness, are almost
oily in texture. The real proof is that in so-called "smaller" vintages, this
fellow's wines are terrific.
Niellon is a master winemaker...his wines always have style and we've never
been disappointed, so we routinely try to have some of his wine in the shop.
- Currently available:
2013 Batard-Montrachet $359.99
2012 Chassagne-Montrachet "Maltroie" $99.99
- The Ramonet family is the "first family" of Chassagne-Montrachet.
They routinely make exceptional wines for which there is great world-wide demand.
With something like 14 hectares of vineyards, brothers Nol and Jean-Claude have
assumed the reins from Papa André. We are big fans of their red wines, though the
enterprise is known for the Chardonnays.
The wines are started in some sort of neutral tank such as stainless-steel before being
transferred into cask. They use about 35% new wood for their
premier cru wines (more for the grand cru level bottlings) and it's from Chatillonais
and Tronçais oak. While many Burgundian winemakers stir the lees, Ramonet does not. They
do, however, leave the wine in contact with the lees for a lengthy period.
Honey and hazelnuts are the typical notes one finds in a Ramonet Chassagne. The wines have
a subtle quality about them, yet there's an underlying power and weight to these wines.
Undoubtedly, this is a result of old vines, small yields and meticulous vinification. The
Ramonets consider vines of less than 18 years to be "young" vines!
|I read an amusing article about this crew. They shun the spotlight and
are not keen to have visitors. One the Ramonets is standing in front of the winery,
having an appointment with a visitor. A woman arrives for her rendezvous,
only to be told the fellow she intends to meet had other business and is not available
after all. The funny part was, of course, the appointment was with the very Ramonet
brother who brushed off this visitor!
A friend told me of arriving for an appointment with a famed vigneron in
another village. The fellow told this trio of American visitors he couldn't see
them, as he had an appointment or business elsewhere. He jumped in his car and drove
off. They were curious, so they jumped into their chariot and followed him.
All the way around the corner and back in front of his winery. He got out and
returned to his work (or whatever), apparently happy that he avoided another
appointment with "foreigners" or "customers."
- HENRI BOILLOT
people describe this terrific domaine as being run by a perfectionist and
given the wines we've tasted, we're inclined to agree with that notion.
Henri Boillot had been working at the family negociant business before
taking a leave of absence to pursue his own winemaking enterprise.
His own wines so impressed his grandfather, that gramps asked him to
return and make the wine for the family domaine. He did and in the
process, bought out the sibling's shares to again have full control over
his own winery.
He changed the name from Domaine Jean Boillot and these days you'll find
wines labeled as "Henri Boillot" (for the non-estate wines) and
"Domaine Henri Boillot" for wines coming from his own 14
hectares of vines. The former are produced in a cellar in Meursault
and the "domaine" wines are vinified in Volnay.
Despite the two different cellars, the wines are handled identically,
whether from their own vines or from purchased fruit.
These days Henri Boillot is joined by his son Guillaume in
making the wines. They are insistent upon no pesticides or herbicides are
used in the vineyards. Vineyards are pruned to produce small
yields. They try to pick late to have greater hang-time and slightly riper
fruit. Once the Chardonnay grapes have been gently crushed, the must
is then cooled to around 45-48 degrees and the juices is fermented in a barrel
that's larger than the normal sized barrique. It's a 350 liter barrel
rather than the typical barrel used in Burgundy which is 225 liters.
Boillot believes this allows the wines to better show their character and
"terroir." Whatever he's doing, he's doing it right!
The wines undergo a full malolactic fermentation and are bottled after about 18
months in wood.
Very fine. Beautiful nose with some apple/pear tones and just a touch of
oak. There are stony elements, but as soon as you take a sniff, you'll
sense you're tasting the work of a serious vigneron. This is classy White
As an aside, we had tasted a really good Meursault from another well-regarded
Then we tasted the Henri Boillot wine...even better! In fact, the sales
rep said he probably shouldn't show the Boillot wine when he's showing the wines
of other (good) Burgundy domaines.
"The Boillot wines always outshine the others." he explained.
We are not surprised.
Currently in stock: HENRI BOILLOT 2013 MEURSAULT
BONNEAU DU MARTRAY
Corton-Charlemagne (list $150) SALE $139.99
Corton-Charlemagne (list $150) SALE $129.99
- This famous domaine is run by the Count and Countess Jean le Bault de la Morinire.
The property has been the possession of René Bonneau du Martray, the uncle of the
countess. The property consists of 9 hectares of Corton-Charlemagne and two hectares
The Bonneau du Martray wines are the standard by which other Corton-Charlemagne wines are
judged. However, they take years to blossom, so drinking a three or four year old
wine would be a bit premature.
The Chardonnay starts its fermentation in stainless steel before finishing its
fermentation in wood. One-third new Limousin oak barrels are used, one-third are
second year barrels and the rest are third year cooperage. After nearly a year the
wine returns to stainless steel for another six months to await bottling.
The 2004 is marvelous and has great potential. There's an appley
aspect to the wine presently, with some steely notes. It's dry and
crisp and will only improve over the next five to eight years as it becomes,
The 2007 is a baby...but refined and poised to be a grand bottle.
CHATEAU de PULIGNY-MONTRACHET
property was taken over by a bank, the Caisse d'Espargne back at the turn of
the century, or thereabouts. It's a
lovely estate, with some 20 hectares of vines, 2/3s of which are in
- Management of the firm was then assumed by Monsieur Etienne de
Montille, a famous name from nearby Volnay. We found the wines here
to be of very fine quality.
Etienne brought the domaine back to life and finally in 2012 he and his
sister, Alix de Montille, purchased the estate and have been running it
simple "Bourgogne Blanc" is a really good indicator of the style
and quality of wines you'll find here. It's called "Clos du Château"
and it comes from a single parcel of 5 hectares that's right in front of
the chateau. This is right on the border of Puligny Montrachet, so
it's a terrific entry-level wine to the world of Pulignys.
- The fruit is hand-harvested and the juice is pressed immediately and
they figure out how hard to press dependent upon the vintage. After
a short period of settling the juice, it's transferred to wood. Some
of the cooperage holds 600 liters and some 228 liters. New oak is
scaled according to the vintage as well, ranging, as we understand it from
5 to 20 percent. Light toast. Allier oak.
- The 2013 doesn't seem to have much in the way of wood...it's a mildly
stony dry white. We might prefer a bit more wood, but that's just
us. The wine sells quite well with many bottles leaving the shop
with people who had one previously and have returned for another.
That's a good sign!
- We can special order their other wines, if you like.
The range is impressive...
I asked Etienne's son Louis to pose for the camera in the vast barrel
room. The little fellow was more than happy to oblige!
- Currently in stock: 2013 "Clos du Château" BOURGOGNE BLANC
Gros is a highly-regarded winemaker and he works in all phases of his
The photo above shows him at a trade tasting event in France in 2016 and,
as you can see, he's pouring red wine. His estate's vineyards tally
to about 26 hectares if we've understood the various vineyard plantings
Only 12% of his vineyards are planted to Chardonnay but when you taste his
"simple" Hautes Côtes de Nuits, you'll think this guy is an old
master at white wine. This is such a fabulous bottle of wine, it
puts to shame so many whites from places you expect to have great White
Burgundy. Chassagne? Puligny? Meursault?
The vineyard for this are about 20+ years of age. The grapes are
hand-harvested and the juice is settled briefly before he starts the
fermentation. If we understand correctly, the fermentation begins in
tank but then, when it's two-thirds completed, this goes into oak
barrels. Twenty percent of the wood is new. They stir the wine
when they top up the barrels, which is fairly often at the
- Denis & Isabelle Pommier started their winemaking adventure in
1990 with a mere two hectares of vines in Chablis. They're in
the village of Poinchy, a few minutes by car from the town of Chablis.
In those early days, we gather they sold the grapes, but by 1994 they
were able to vinify some of their own fruit and bottle some
wine. Things have gone well for the couple and today they have
something like 18 hectares.
They started out farming sustainably (everyone seems to say this,
don't they?), but these days the domaine has been certified as farming
biodynamically. And they are vigilant in the vineyard so yields
are rather modest in an effort to ramp up quality.
- The juice is fermented employing indigenous yeasts. The wines
are matured in tank or cooperage and the top vineyard bottlings spend
perhaps 18 months before bottling to stabilize (settle, clarify, etc.)
We tasted a terrific range of wines with the Pommiers.
Everything was, in fact, quite good and well made.
Currently in the shop is their 2013 Chablis Premier Cru
"Fourchaume." They have one hectare in this site and
the wine is nicely showy. This does see a bit of wood before
- There's a nicely smoky and toasty element here and it's rather
full-flavored in deep. On one hand it's perhaps a bit more
robust than typically nervy Chablis and yet on the other the wine is
snappy and youthful. Very fine now, you can probably give this a
number of years of bottle aging. But you'd have to have more
will power than the average bear, since it's so attractive right now!
Currently in stock: 2013 POMMIER CHABLIS 1er
Cru "FOURCHAUME" $41.99
name Ponsot is actually quite well-known amongst Burgundy
They are famous for their slow-to-mature Morey-Saint-Denis and
Well, this Ponsot domaine is not related to the red wine-Ponsots of the Cote
This estate is located in the Cote Chalonnaise, just south of the Cote de
The Rully appellation is about 6 miles from Chassagne-Montrachet
and comprises the towns of Rully and Chagny. The appellation has been the
source of some good sparkling wine, though more recently it's well-regarded for
its white wines. In fact, today about two-thirds of the vineyards are
planted with Chardonnay and one-third devoted to Pinot Noir.
Jean Baptiste Ponsot has been running the domaine since the early 2000s.
They currently farm 7.5 hectares of vineyards and he told us in 2011 he expects
to purchase another hectare nearby. Vineyards are not farmed
biodynamically, but "lutte raisonnée" (leaning towards organic
Jean Baptiste Ponsot
Chardonnay is cultivated on clay soils and Ponsot's white wines
are quite good. We found the wines we tasted in Burgundy to be good and
the wine that's arrived here in the summer of 2011 is even more
showy. Perhaps this is a result of the boat ride to the west
coast or, simply, a bit of time in bottle.
The Rully Blanc is easily identifiable as "white
Burgundy." It's got a nice appley fruit character and a pleasantly
minerally, stony note. Sure. this is not a Montrachet or
Corton-Charlemagne, but it's not priced in those lofty neighborhoods, either.
The 2013 was fermented entirely in oak barrels, with about 25% of the wood being
new. The oak is nicely in the background, so the balance of fruit and wood
strikes us as just right. It's showing magnificently right now and
should be fine for a couple of more years. We find it comparable to wines
from much more famed and expensive appellations in the area of Puligny and
Chassagne Montrachet...yes, it's that good!
Currently in stock: 2013 PONSOT RULLY BLANC
Yes, they make a couple of 1er Cru wines...
the past few decades, Burgundy has become a remarkably complicated maze
for most wine drinkers to explore.
It used to be easy: The names of the various villages
or bus stops were well known and all you had to do was find a reliable
"shipper" (the various negociant firms were called 'shippers' by
the old-timers) to buy a decent bottle of wine.
The famous names were those such as Bouchard, Louis Jadot, Faiveley,
Patriarche, Mommessin, Coron Pere et Fils, Pierre Andre, Moillard, Louis
Latour and Joseph Drouhin.
The firms dominated the Burgundy market, buying grapes and sometimes wine
from small growers who were thought to be too small to compete with these
big companies. The big houses could dominate the market, dictating
prices for grapes during the harvest and for wine post-harvest.
But years ago a number of small growers began bottling their own wines and,
over the years, more of these little companies have decided to stop selling
fruit and/or wine to the large houses. This caused some issues for the
Drouhin is still a family-operated company and I'd bet most Burgundian
growers and vintners have the utmost respect for this winery. They've
been good about being a serious ambassador for Burgundy, traveling around
the world to meet & greet trade partners and consumers. And
they helped put Oregon on the world's wine map when they purchased a
property there and set up a thriving winery in the Willamette Valley where
they make some very good Pinot Noir.
We've long been friendly with the Drouhin family, having first visited their
Burgundy cellar in Beaune decades ago. The wines have routinely been
elegant and classy. And the wines continue to improve.
BEAUNE CLOS DES MOUCHES BLANC
The word "mouches" refers to flies, but this vineyard
parcel is not really named after those little insects, but after honey bees,
"mouches à miel."
The vineyard is located south of the city of Beaune and just near the border
of the appellation of Pommard. The Chardonnay vines in this
Premier Cru site average about 45 years of age and Drouhin routinely
short-crops the vines to well under the legal maximum production.
The grapes are pressed after being sorted and the juice is then settled
before the cleaner, clearer juice goes into small French oak before the
start of fermentation. Drouhin insists on proper weathering or
seasoning of its oak barrels, another detail adding to the quality.
We have the 2011 in stock presently...really classy White
Chablis is a major part of Drouhin's portfolio. Robert Drouhin
realized several decades ago that Chablis was, in fact, a wine of special
characteristics. With many growers abandoning vineyards (in the 1950s
there was a major frost which killed a lot of vineyards and into the 1960s,
demand for Chablis was not great.
He purchased a lot of vineyards and today Joseph Drouhin is a bit of a Chablis
specialist. (And unlike some of the Chablis specialists which are actually
headquartered in Chablis, you won't find Drouhin's wine in anything resembling a
They usually keep the pricing on the basic Chablis at a reasonable level, so
we've had a most attractive wine at a most attractive price.
The Chablis sees a brief pass in oak, but not a single barrel is new. The
wood is used to mature the wine, not give it oak flavors. As a result,
you'll find this to be snappy and bone dry, with hints of green apple and a
slightly chalky, flinty note.
We enjoy this wine from time to time as a white to set up a more important
red. So in our world, this is typically paired with seafood, though we
enjoyed a pour at a place in The City paired with Fried Okra and Crayfish Hush
Puppies and it was delicious. 2014 presently...
MONTRACHET Premier Cru "MORGEOT"
This parcel of Morgeot is owned by the Laguiche family, who also own a
prime parcel in Le Montrachet.
Drouhin has long been buying the fruit from those two vineyard sites and making
truly wonderful wines.
For this Chassagne Montrachet, the wine is barrel fermented and Drouhin says
they use about 20% new oak. Whatever they're doing, they're doing it
The wine exudes class.
It's beautifully balanced, showing magnificent fruit and just the right amount
of toasty oak. It's dry, of course, and complex...there's just something
about this site and it sings here.
2011 in stock at this writing.
Currently in stock: 2011 BEAUNE "CLOS DES
MOUCHES" Blanc SALE $119.99
2014 CHABLIS Sale $19.99
2011 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET "Morgeot" SALE $99.99
MAISON LOUIS JADOT
know this firm gets some nice reviews from various journals. I buy
bottles of their wines, from time to time, in hopes of tasting something
that's extraordinary. I simply haven't found much in their line-up of
reasonably-priced wines that excites my taste-buds. I suppose when you
produce 150 wines annually, you're not going to excel at all of them
We did taste through a handful of new releases in early 2012 and had to
admit the wines are better than the dreary plonk we'd been accustomed to
tasting some years ago.
I made a point of sampling a handful of Jadot offerings at a big event in
Burgundy in 2016 and can't say I found anything compelling.
I was surprised by their use of oak in a Premier Cru Chablis...now I like
wood in a wine, but this tasted like a brandy that had been in the barrel
for too long! It was oaked to a fare-thee-well and then some. So
I wondered why there's not someone in charge of actually monitoring their
wines and having a somewhat consistent house style.
The winery enjoyed a nice bit of popularity some years ago when Louis
Jadot's Pouilly-Fuisse was all the rage and a sign of a
"sophisticated" wine drinker. Society folks from
Hillsborough would amble in and request a bottle of "Lew-ie Jar-dot's
Poo-wee Foo-see" back in those days, knowing a bottle of this on
tonight's dinner table signified they knew their shit when it came to wine.
These days those people buy Rombauer wines, either in Feinherb Chardonnay or
Jadot must make a couple of dozen different white Burgundy wines and while
things are competently made, we're not privileged to taste those wines which
might, in fact, be somewhat exciting.
Currently in stock: Special orders are possible
if you're hell-bent on their wines.
DOMAINE HERVE AZO
- This little domaine was founded by a fellow who hailed from
Brittany. He'd been living in Paris, working in the world of
advertising. Someone invited him to take a few days off and go pick
grapes, toiling in the vineyards of Chablis.
There he was bitten by the wine bug and ended up buying vineyard
land. And so he started a nice little winemaking enterprise with
most of the domaine situated in premier cru sites near the town of Milly,
west of beautiful downtown Chablis.
Most of the vineyard holdings were in premier cru sites, with a few vines
in a Petit Chablis area.
A few years ago the domaine was purchased by another vintner
in Chablis, Jean Marc Brocard. He admired Azo's wines and bought the
property with the idea of retaining the domaine as a separate entity.
Good move. Brocard's wines have been of classic styling, though I've
usually found them to be almost sterile and a bit superficial. So,
it's a bit surprising to see they're making the Azo wine with its usual
style and depth.
- Azo's parcel of Vau de Vey (also known as "VaVaVaVoom!") is
quite steep and as it's a relatively below-the-radar site, its price
A nice little sign posted in the cellar to commemorate the inaugural vintage.
I was surprised, in searching the internet, to read an article
about the winery on a web site of an Irish wine merchant who stocks Azo Chablis.
I was sad to learn in their article summarizing the history of
the domaine, that the owner of the estate died in 2005 and it was soon purchased
by Marc Brocard.
If you see the photo above that I shot of Hervé in 2002, he was not exactly a
senior citizen and so it was surprising to me, at least, to read he apparently
Well, the local importer, who's more up-to-date on these things than those Irish
blokes, explained that Hervé is alive and well. He and his wife realized
their three daughters had no interest in the world of wine and Kimmeridgian
clay, so they sold the winery split their time between Brittany and their
sailboat which they keep in the Caribbean.
Well, no matter. The winery is, apparently, in good
hands. At least we can say that judging by the 2010 Chablis Premier Cru of
their Vau de Vay site. The wine is classically-styled and you'll find it
to be a textbook example of Chablis: minerally, stony, bone dry,
flinty...shall I go on? It's delicious presently and ought to continue to
develop nicely over the next few years.
Currently in stock: HERVE AZO 2012 CHABLIS Premier
Cru Vau de Vay Sold Out
DOMAINE DES TERRES DE VELLE
many of our favorite Burgundy domaines are family-operated enterprises,
handed down from generation to generation and tracing the family tree back
hundreds of years. This isn't one of those stories, however.
It's a story of three young people, two from Burgundy, pooling their resources
and starting a brand new winery. Fabrice Laronze and his wife Sophie
are from the region. He studied winemaking in Beaune (and
Montpellier), while Madame Laronze did some school work in Germany and
Champagne before returning back to Burgundy and the wine business.
Fabrice worked producing sparkling wine, then at a little winery in
Pommard before becoming the cellar guy at the Alex Gambal wine facility (a
negociant firm which also makes a bit of wine...owned by an American
fellow, in fact). Sophie worked for the big negociant firm of Albert
Bichot before working for a barrel building company in
They are joined by a Japanese friend, Junji Hashimoto. This fellow
left his home country to follow his dream in France and met Fabrice
working at a domaine in Pommard, Lejeune. He studied French and can
now order sushi in several languages when dining out in Beaune and
environs. Hashimoto-san also worked at the domaine of Hubert Lignier
in Morey-Saint-Denis, so he's no stranger to good Burgundy.
The cellar under construction in 2011.
These days the place is fully-constructed.
The cellar is in an old mill resembling a small garage on the outskirts of
Auxey-Duresses when we visited in 2011. They were building a new
cellar at that time and we understand the place is now functional.
Fabrice had a nice line-up of all their wines for us...
We tasted a nice range of wines on our visit...all showing good
quality, good rocks, good fruit and good cellar practices.
Now back home, it's always interesting to re-taste wines you made notes about
"on the road" and compare the findings from here to back there.
You know, for many people, wine simply tastes better at the source.
Whether you're visiting a tasting room in California, Washington or in Europe
(or elsewhere), the fact that you're a bit in tourist "mode" makes for
a better reception than tasting the same wine at home with the phone ringing,
the kids screaming and the door-bell ringing...
I've been pleasantly surprised to re-taste some wines I'd tasted across the pond
and find them better than I did at the cellar door!
The Terres de Velle (did I mentioned the "Velle" is a little stream
running near the winery?) Bourgogne Blanc showed nicely when we visited, but I
think it's showing better now (maybe some time in bottle has allowed it to grow
and blossom a bit).
The 2012 Bourgogne comes from two parcels. There's a patch of vines which
are 30 years old and are located on the plain below Puligny-Montrachet and
two-thirds comes from a parcel in Meursault. It sees about 10% new oak, not enough to be
particularly noticeable as a wood-aged wine. It's showing a faint note of
pineapple (we detect a light spice note) and some pear-like tones. There's
some minerality in there, as well and the wine tastes like "Bourgogne"
from the Cote de Beaune which is what it should taste like, after
Their 2011 Monthelie comes from a tiny parcel (less than a
quarter of a hectare!) situated on a steep hill with an eastern exposure.
The vines are now mature and produce a classic white Burgundy. And, since
the town of Monthelie is not on most consumer's shopping list, the wine sells
for a price which should attract those who have taste for classy Burgundy, but
not the deepest of pockets. We like the stony notes of this beautiful dry
white and its mildly toasty elements, probably a combination of oak (30% new
barrels) and some lees-stirring. Young at this stage, but still quite
drinkable...we expect it will really blossom in 2014, or so.
The 2013 Meursault is an old vines bottling from a parcel called Les Luchets.
These vines were planted in 1936 and they have about 1/3 of a hectare of
it. The grapes are gently pressed and the juice is settled overnight in a
stainless steel tank before being transferred to barrel for its
fermentation. Perhaps 25% new oak is employed and the wine shows more the
grape than the barrel. It's bone dry and nicely acidic. Medium
bodied. Very fine and elegant, so we suggest serving it just lightly
chilled to maybe 50-degrees.
Currently in stock: 2012 DOMAINE TERRES DE VELLE
BOURGOGNE BLANC $26.99
2011 DOMAINE TERRES DE VELLE MONTHELIE BLANC $36.99
2013 DOMAINE TERRES DE VELLE MEURSAULT Sale $54.99
CHÂTEAU DES RONTETS
- A couple of
architects didn't have any designs on making wine, but when an elderly
relative died and left them this estate, they soon found themselves up to
their eyeballs in grapes.
Claire Gazeau and her Italian-born husband Fabio Montrasi run this small
domaine just a short drive south of the town of Fuissé.
- There are about 6 hectares of Pouilly-Fuissé and a half a hectare of
Gamay in Saint Amour. The couple took over the estate in 1994 and
their first vintage was 1999.
The property is nice and the couple farms in an organic fashion.
"We don't like chemical farming." explained Fabio.
"We do a lot of plowing and work responsibly in the vineyards."
They do not acidify their wines and they avoid chaptalization,
too. Fabio says he did more battonage with the wines (stirring the yeast
in barrel) when they started. Now he prefers to do a bit of battonage when
the fermentation is slowing down and finishing.
We have now had quite a few vintages of Rontets Pouilly-Fuisse in the
shop. These have been consistently fine and they've even gotten bette over
the past decade. Routinely, though, our favorite is a wine
called Birbettes. This comes from the oldest patch of vines within their
Clos Varambon vineyard. This part of the vineyard has four patches.
Two of them were planted around 1920 and the other two went into the ground
shortly after World War II. They produce some fruit which makes a wine rivaling Chassagne and
Meursault wines for which you'd pay a bit more. Only 10% of
the cooperage used to mature this wine is new...so there's a hint of wood, lots
of stony Chardonnay on display and a faintly smoky tone in the background.
Currently in stock: CHÂTEAU des RONTETS 2013
POUILLY-FUISSÉ "Birbettes" List $50 SALE
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