Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

France, Burgundy

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.

These are tangy, tensile expressions of the Mâconnais, picked early and often displaying a subtle reductive edge... At times, I find the wines almost too racy: one expects a certain modicum of texture and flesh in this more southern region, after all. But it's a style that will win—indeed, is already winning—ardent adherents. What cannot be doubted is the sincerity or seriousness of intent behind these chiseled, incisive wines from this small artisanal domaine. William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Aug 2018)