Mâconnais

A classical growing season in the Mâconnais. The vines did not suffer from drought as there was much more rain here in August than there was further north. The result is wines which have a freshness and minerality which is at odds with the reputation of the vintage elsewhere. Yields were also restrained here - Frantz Chagnoleau reported 45-48hl/ha across his domaine, which is a lot less than in either Chablis or the Côte d'Or. Frantz said the 2018 wines were 'fresher than 2017, citrus and minerals', while Julien Barraud described the wines as 'balanced, thirst-quenching, fresh - like 2016 or 2014'.


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Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon, who is also the winemaker at the Comte Lafon Mâcon operation, are rising stars of the Mâconnais. Together they have a small domaine consisting of 3.5 hectares of Mâcon in a single block in Saint Albain, and several small plots in Viré Clessé, Saint Véran and Pouilly Fuissé, making up 6.8 hectares in total. All the vineyards are organically farmed (Ecocert certified).

Great care is taken at harvest to pick at the optimum moment for sugars, acidity and aromatic precursors, and they will stop the picking between parcels if they think that the ripening is not even across the whole domaine. Grapes are manually picked into 25kg cases, so as to get whole, undamaged grapes to the winery. After careful pressing, a very non-interventionist vinifcation takes place with natural yeasts in oak foudres.

The wines are kept on the lees to preserve freshness until the beginning of summer, when they are racked and lightly filtered, before bottling before the next harvest, except for some of the top wines which are aged for another six months in tank in order to develop fully. The wines are expressive and pure and well worth seeking out.

In 2018 they have moved to a slightly more spacious cellar, so have more room to work. They started picking on the 26th August. As elsewhere in the Mâconnais, they feel that there is more freshness, more minerality than in 2017 - alcohol levels were at 12.6% for the Mâcon and 13.1-13.2 for the Saint Verans - there was much more rain down here in August than in the Côte d'Or.

2018 MÂCON VILLAGES Clos Saint Pancras Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 MÂCON VILLAGES Clos Saint Pancras Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

From a site by Saint Albain, at 250m altitude. Aged 10 months in old oak foudres, and bottled under Stelvin. Lovely fresh pineapple and citrus, sweet bright fruit, very precise.From a site by Saint Albain, at 250m altitude. Aged 10 months in old oak foudres, and bottled under Stelvin. Lovely fresh pineapple and citrus, sweet bright fruit, very precise. Drinking range: 2020 - L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 SAINT VÉRAN Prélude Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 SAINT VÉRAN Prélude Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

Poor, calcareous soils. 15% new wood in demi-muids (500l barrels). 45 year old vines in several plots - the earliest ripening. Ripe pear nose, quite fat and gathering juicy citrus makes it dance -Poor, calcareous soils. 15% new wood in demi-muids (500l barrels). 45 year old vines in several plots - the earliest ripening. Ripe pear nose, quite fat and gathering juicy citrus makes it dance - lots of flavour.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 VIRÉ-CLESSÉ Les Raspillières Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 VIRÉ-CLESSÉ Les Raspillières Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

These vines were planted in 2000. The 2018 was harvested on the 2nd September. Frantz uses a little bit of new wood - 10%. Élevage in Demi-muids. This is the most northerly plot he works and it isThese vines were planted in 2000. The 2018 was harvested on the 2nd September. Frantz uses a little bit of new wood - 10%. Élevage in Demi-muids. This is the most northerly plot he works and it is high (350m) - facing east and made up of mineral, stony soil. Just the way Franz likes it! Even in 2018 this wine is delightfully fresh and clean - some citrus spritz - but a good saline backdrop rules. Bright and fresh and yet nicely weighted too. Quite a serious feel. SophisticatedL&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 SAINT VÉRAN A la Côte Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 SAINT VÉRAN A la Côte Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

The highest vineyard of the domaine at 400m, on red earth, in Chasselas. Aged in demi-muids with no new wood. Deep gold, more massive in the mouth, round and rather joyously gourmand, stillThe highest vineyard of the domaine at 400m, on red earth, in Chasselas. Aged in demi-muids with no new wood. Deep gold, more massive in the mouth, round and rather joyously gourmand, still super-lively.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 SAINT VÉRAN La Fournaise Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 SAINT VÉRAN La Fournaise Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

All aged in demi-muids with no new wood. The whitest and most mineral soil they have. Spicy and super-dry and bright. Firm and all in bracing brightness and minerality. 'A reductive and Chablis-likeAll aged in demi-muids with no new wood. The whitest and most mineral soil they have. Spicy and super-dry and bright. Firm and all in bracing brightness and minerality. 'A reductive and Chablis-like character' says Frantz.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 SAINT VÉRAN La Roche Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 SAINT VÉRAN La Roche Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

70 year old vines at 200m in Chasselas, on marl, in mid-slope. Some is aged in demi-muids, but mostly it's in barrel with 10% new wood. Supple fine structure, very sleek on the palate, a fine rich70 year old vines at 200m in Chasselas, on marl, in mid-slope. Some is aged in demi-muids, but mostly it's in barrel with 10% new wood. Supple fine structure, very sleek on the palate, a fine rich supple middle on ripe pear fruit - concentrated, saline, long.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Madrigal Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Madrigal Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

From Vergisson, (mostly 'en Carmentrant') and all aged in barrel, but no new wood even if some are recent. The idea, says Frantz, is to choose reductive wood and keep it straight and mineral. Big andFrom Vergisson, (mostly 'en Carmentrant') and all aged in barrel, but no new wood even if some are recent. The idea, says Frantz, is to choose reductive wood and keep it straight and mineral. Big and initially quite a relaxed and generous style, lovely purity and freshness. At once mouthfilling and thrillingly linear - a burst of flavour on the finish.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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Domaine Daniel Barraud

Daniel and Martine Barraud, now joined by their son Julien and daughter Anaïs, have vineyards in Vergisson that are mostly high up under the famous rock (Vergisson lies between the two dramatic cliffs of the rocks of Solutré and Vergisson). The vineyards here are significantly higher than those of Fuissé, and are consequently later-ripening, and the wines often have a more solid structure - but all of Daniel's wines have their own character, from the Puligny-like directness of the La Roche to the fat richness of the 'en Buland', via the mineral force of the Crays.

All the wines are made keeping close to the tenets of bio-dynamics - not as Daniel says for the sake of it - but because over the generations experience has taught them these principles really are the best way forward - as such they only ever bottle on a waning moon, All the wines see some barrel ageing apart from the Chaintré, which is aged in foudre (2/3) and tank.

As Allen Meadows wrote in 2014 in Burghound "I have said this before, but I will say it again: no one makes better wine in the Mâconnais than Barraud. There are a few domaines that produce wines that are sometimes just as good, ... but none of them surpasses the quality he consistently produces. If you aren’t familiar with the wines, you owe it to yourself and your pocketbook to check them out." (www.Burghound.com). In 2018 They picked from the 28th August to the 15th of September (stopping for 4 days in the middle. 'The wines are balanced, thirst-quenching, fresh - like 2016 or 2014', said Julien.

2018 MÂCON CHAINTRÉ Pierres Polies Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 MÂCON CHAINTRÉ Pierres Polies Domaine Daniel Barraud

Nicely sleek and broad in feel. Fruit is tense here - deeply flavoured with pineapple - savoury ginger powder. As ever this is a pert and firm and remarkably joyful Macon. A really nice, pretty,Nicely sleek and broad in feel. Fruit is tense here - deeply flavoured with pineapple - savoury ginger powder. As ever this is a pert and firm and remarkably joyful Macon. A really nice, pretty, bright lift runs through this.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 MÂCON VERGISSON La Roche Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 MÂCON VERGISSON La Roche Domaine Daniel Barraud

Very impressive. It hits the palate with a broad swathe of ripeness and sunshine. Yet it is nicely kept in with mouth-watering, juicy acidity. Crisp cox apple cuts through with refreshing zip andVery impressive. It hits the palate with a broad swathe of ripeness and sunshine. Yet it is nicely kept in with mouth-watering, juicy acidity. Crisp cox apple cuts through with refreshing zip and just lifts the nice, sappy weight. This is good to go right away - pretty, juicy and delicious.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Alliance-Vergisson Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Alliance-Vergisson Domaine Daniel Barraud

The 'Alliance' here is the coming together of 5 parcels: 4 in Vergisson and 1 in Fuissé. All the vines range between 45 - 65 years old. One of the parcels is on clay - 4 on rock. There are someThe 'Alliance' here is the coming together of 5 parcels: 4 in Vergisson and 1 in Fuissé. All the vines range between 45 - 65 years old. One of the parcels is on clay - 4 on rock. There are some serious raw materials here and some clever, hard craft from Julien. Minerality ruling the nose for now. There's also some toast here, some good wood-spice on the attack. Nicely toasty. Good, tightly furled fruit core. Firm citrus flesh some apple and some pineapple cube crunch. Quite a big boy for now. Nicely complex and lots to get your teeth in to. Complex - powerful and slightly tightish. This complex mix of terroirs is then aged in a range of barrels and tanks to get the exact expression that Julien is after. 1/3 in barrel, 1/3 in Demi-Muids, 1/3 in cuve. Just 10% of the wood is new.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 SAINT VÉRAN En Crèches Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 SAINT VÉRAN En Crèches Domaine Daniel Barraud

This vineyard's fantastic position up high and facing south east, as well as its rock-laden soil really show the class of this site in warm vintages. The vines here are now 37 years old and the 2018This vineyard's fantastic position up high and facing south east, as well as its rock-laden soil really show the class of this site in warm vintages. The vines here are now 37 years old and the 2018 is a total triumph. Fresh floral citrus spray to the nose and then in the mouth a delicious lift of mineral brightness kicks into some firm hard white fleshed fruit - some lime, some chalky bite. Delicious, clean and fresh Saint Véran.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 SAINT VÉRAN Les Pommards Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 SAINT VÉRAN Les Pommards Domaine Daniel Barraud

From vines between 20-55 years old. More savoury than the 'En Crèches' - and a slightly fuller, riper fruit core holds sway. This weight and richness is surprising on the face of it as the cote theFrom vines between 20-55 years old. More savoury than the 'En Crèches' - and a slightly fuller, riper fruit core holds sway. This weight and richness is surprising on the face of it as the cote the vines are on face North East and you'd expect a cooler feel - especially as the soils are poor and ideal for retaining line a nd freshness. However, the vines are in fact in a little dip that holds any heat. This is what gives that depth, power and weight. A great contrast to En Crèches. Deep and full. It will take time, but this impresses.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Les Châtaigniers Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Les Châtaigniers Domaine Daniel Barraud

Tank sample still with a little CO2 in evidence. But this does not hide the fact that it is looking super. So bright and mouth-watering on the attack. A firmish, greenish line here that peps up theTank sample still with a little CO2 in evidence. But this does not hide the fact that it is looking super. So bright and mouth-watering on the attack. A firmish, greenish line here that peps up the palate - but for now makes it hard to define the flavours. But I like the freshness and the energetic flow very much. Yellow fruits and sleek feel in middle.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes La Verchère Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes La Verchère Domaine Daniel Barraud

Again a deliciously bright attack - but this has an imposing sense of weight and power in the shadows. Builds nicely - sleekly into quite a big broad polished weight. Gorgeous fruit. Firm white andAgain a deliciously bright attack - but this has an imposing sense of weight and power in the shadows. Builds nicely - sleekly into quite a big broad polished weight. Gorgeous fruit. Firm white and yellow flesh. Sweet pear and tart peach fruit, nice bright notes. Delivery is impeccable. Big, but so smoothly done. 65 years old vines.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ sur la Roche Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ sur la Roche Domaine Daniel Barraud

Damp pebbles on the nose - incredible mineral feel. Highest bit of the Rock of Vergisson, with intensely limestone soil. There is a bright and tight core of brilliant fruit here. Zipping citrus andDamp pebbles on the nose - incredible mineral feel. Highest bit of the Rock of Vergisson, with intensely limestone soil. There is a bright and tight core of brilliant fruit here. Zipping citrus and crisp pear juice. Good energy is beautifully held by the gorgeous delicate mineral grip that builds so finely. This is heady, impressive stuff.L&S(Nov 2019)

75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes Les Crays Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes Les Crays Domaine Daniel Barraud

Crisp nose, mineral to the fore - palate is loaded with juicy citrus notes. This has an easy flow though - smooth and velveteen on the palate with just a slowly building mineral scrape towards theCrisp nose, mineral to the fore - palate is loaded with juicy citrus notes. This has an easy flow though - smooth and velveteen on the palate with just a slowly building mineral scrape towards the finish. Good stuff. From vines on the rock of Vergisson. Behind Verchere. 'Calcaire Rouge' soil here. Top drawer terroir gives such refined complexity in this humdinger of a Maconnais.L&S(Nov 2019)

Magnums, case of 6

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75cl bottles, case of 12

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2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes En Buland Domaine Daniel Barraud

2018 POUILLY FUISSÉ Vieilles Vignes En Buland Domaine Daniel Barraud

This plot was planted in 1934. The wine is now labelled as ‘Grand Vin de Bourgogne’ (as it is!)However, this is the best they can do as the local authorities will not classify En Buland as 1er cru, This plot was planted in 1934. The wine is now labelled as ‘Grand Vin de Bourgogne’ (as it is!)However, this is the best they can do as the local authorities will not classify En Buland as 1er cru, despite its clear brilliance! This is simply because it faces North East and not South. Perched highish on the Rock of Solutré. With the same soil as Les Crays but on the opposite rock across the valley - which means it has a very different exposition. Power and weight are mesmerising - but delivered with aplomb. This is intense and powerful - but still so tightly coiled in the middle. Energy and flesh in great harmony. It is a masterpiece of White Burgundy. L&S(Nov 2019)

Magnums, case of 6

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75cl bottles, case of 12

In Bond