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Burgundy - Top Producers of the Côte Chalonnaise & Mâconnais

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Photo: Domaine Faiveley © Provided by DKBooks Domaine Faiveley

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Domaine Faiveley

Top Producers of the Côte Chalonnaise & Mâconnais

Antonin Rodet - Côte Chalonnaise

location: Mercurey
telephone number: 03 85 98 12 12
website: www.rodet.com
wine styles: red, white
best vintages: 1999, 1997, 1996, 1993
recommended wines: Rully Blanc (Château de Rully), Mercurey (Château Chamirey), Mercurey (Château de Mercey)

Rodet is a well-run négociant, and the owner of 160 ha in various parts of Burgundy. Bertrand Devillard, who has directed the company for decades, is a great believer in the Côte Chalonnaise, and Rodet leases two important properties (the Château de Rully in Rully and Château Chamirey in Mercurey) as well as owning Château de Mercey, which produces Mercurey and generic burgundy. Rodet is constantly fine-tuning the viticulture and winemaking in order to improve quality and give the wines more finesse. In good vintages they can be sensational, and excellent value; in difficult years a touch of coarseness can creep in.


Domaine du Clos Salomon - Côte Chalonnaise

location: Givry
telephone number: 03 85 44 32 24
wine styles: red
best vintages: 1999, 1997, 1996
recommended wines: Givry Clos Salomon

In the past, Clos Salomon was the most highly esteemed vineyard in Givry, but in recent decades the wine has been unimpressive. However, for some years Ludovic du Gardin and his brother have made enormous efforts to restore the 7-ha vineyard and improve the quality of the wine, and they have succeeded. The wine, which is more robust than many from this village, is aged in around 20 percent new oak, allowing the richness of fruit to shine through.


Domaine Faiveley - Côte Chalonnaise

location: 8 rue de Tribourg, Nuits-St-Georges
telephone number: 03 85 61 04 55
wine styles: red, white
best vintages: 1999, 1997, 1996, 1993
recommended wines: Mercurey: La Framboisière, Clos du Roi

Faiveley is a major négociant house with well-located vineyards throughout Burgundy. Many of those vineyards are in Mercurey, and Faiveley has always regarded its holdings there with complete seriousness. It owns six sites, and most of the wines from each are vinified and bottled separately. La Framboisière and Les Mauvarennes are intended for early drinking when their charm and fruit are most apparent; the most serious wine is from the premier cru site Clos du Roi, and is partly aged in new oak.


Domaine François Lumpp - Côte Chalonnaise

location: 36 ave de Mortières, Givry
telephone number: 03 85 44 45 57
winery open to public: by appt
wine styles: red, white
best vintages: 1999, 1997, 1996, 1993
recommended wines: Givry: Crausot, Petit Marole

François Lumpp owns vines in a variety of sites, including a number of premiers crus. His wines always respect the character of the Givry fruit, which is delicate rather than rich. This gives his whites an attractive herbal quality, and his reds a raspberry-scented fragrance. The best cru for red wine is usually Crausot, which has both freshness and concentration.


Domaine Henri & Paul Jacqueson - Côte Chalonnaise

location: 5 rue de Chèvremont, Rully
telephone number: 03 85 91 25 91
winery open to public: by appt
wine styles: red, white
best vintages: 2001 1999, 1997, 1996
recommended wines: Rully: Grésigny, Les Cloux

Henri Jacqueson and his son Paul are justly regarded by many as the best producers in Rully. They have vines in some good premiers crus: Les Pucelles and Grésigny for whites, and Les Cloux and Chaponnière for reds. Although Jacqueson, like Rully itself, is probably better known for its rich spicy whites than for its reds, the red Les Cloux can be outstanding.


Domaine Michel Juillot - Côte Chalonnaise

location: 59 Grande rue, Mercurey
telephone number: 03 85 98 99 89
website: www.domaine-michel-juillot.fr
wine styles: red, white
best vintages: 1999, 1997, 1996, 1993
recommended wines: Mercurey: Champs Martin, Clos des Barraults

Michel Juillot was the first locally-based producer to put Mercurey on the map. Today the 27-ha domaine is run by his son Laurent. There are three sites of which they are particularly proud: Champs Martin, Clos de Tonnerre, and the exceptional Clos des Barraults. Although Juillot produces a good deal of white wine, it is the reds that are more arresting, with their red-fruit perfume and a sturdiness that is never rustic.


Château de Fuissé - Mâconnais

location: Fuissé
telephone number: 03 85 27 05 90
website: www.chateau-fuisse.fr
wine styles: white
best vintages: 1999, 1997, 1996, 1995
recommended wines: Pouilly-Fuissé: Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, Le Clos

For decades this property, owned by Jean-Jacques Vincent, set the pace for winemaking in Pouilly-Fuissé, although in recent years other estates have been hot on its heels in terms of quality. The vineyards are extensive, with some 30 ha, so different parcels are handled separately. The Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is the best-known bottling, but there are others from single parcels such as Le Clos and the very stony Les Combettes. The Vincents use new oak sparingly, and the result is a range of flavorful, well-structured wines, which age well.


Domaine de la Bongran - Mâconnais

location: Quintaine, rue Gillet, Clessé
telephone number: 03 85 36 94 03
website: www.bongran.com
winery open to public: by appt
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1995
recommended wines: Cuvée Tradition, Cuvée Botrytis

The mischievous Jean Thévenet is a man who defies tradition, or, as he sees it, returns to tradition, since he argues that he makes wine as his grandfather would have done. Yields are much lower than the official maximum, and he picks late. Consequently, the wines are enormously rich, often with a high percentage of alcohol. Thévenet’s other estate, Domaine Emilian Gillet, produces similar results.


Thévenet’s sweet Chardonnay

Chardonnay is always dry, right? Not when Jean Thévenet of Domaine de la Bongran has a hand in it. Thévenet’s vineyards sometimes attract botrytis , and in 1983, he decided to allow it to run riot. He vinified the grapes as if they were Sauternes, selecting only those grapes that had been affected by botrytis, and the result was a few thousand bottles of rich, honeyed wine, which attracted attention worldwide. Ever since, Thévenet has continued to make these wines whenever climatic conditions permit. Although his wines are of magnificent quality, the Mâconnais authorities consider them atypical and require that they be sold under the basic appellation of Mâcon-Villages. Thévenet is undeterred, and many of his neighbors in Clessé are now following his example.


Domaine Guffens-Heynen - Mâconnais

location: Vergisson
telephone number: 03 85 51 66 00
winery open to public: by appt
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996
recommended wines: Mâcon Pierreclos, Mâcon Pierreclos en Chavigne

Belgian-born Jean-Marie Guffens-Heynen runs the highly regarded négociant house of Verget, which specializes in white burgundy. He also has this tiny domaine with vines in Mâcon Pierreclos and Pouilly-Fuissé. These are tended by his wife, while he takes care of the winemaking, which is both artisanal and exact. The wines are exceptionally rich and profound.


Domaine J A Ferret - Mâconnais

location: Le Plan, Fuissé
telephone number: 03 85 35 61 56
winery open to public: by appt
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996
recommended wines: Pouilly-Fuissé: Le Clos, Les Ménétrières

One of the strengths of this 15-ha property is that most of its vines are at least 30 years old, giving wines of considerable concentration. All the grapes are picked by hand and mostly fermented in barrique. Some parcels of vines are vinified and marketed separately, and the star turn is from Les Ménétrières, which is aged in new oak and is exceptionally rich.

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