2015 Alliance-Vergisson Domaine Daniel Barraud

Grapes Chardonnay
Colour White
Origin France, Burgundy
District Mâconnais
Village Pouilly Fuissé
ABV 14%

Slightly more withdrawn nose, melon and fig which follows on the palate, rich fleshy, ripe with good acid weight, breadth & length. L&S (Nov 2016)

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A bit beery on the nose. Soft and easy. Drinking range: 2018 - 2019 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Oct 2018)

The 2015 Pouilly-Fuisse "Alliance" Vieilles Vignes comes from vines between 40 and 60 years old and is vinified in barrels, demi-muids and stainless steel vats, with around 15% new wood. It has an attractive resinous, beeswax-scented bouquet that gradually unfurls in the glass. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, touches of orange rind and lemon thyme, a dash of white pepper on the back palate and then a linear finish that suggests this will benefit from a couple of years in bottle. This comes recommended, like several of Barraud's 2015s. Drinking range: 2019 - 2029 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Sep 2017)

Seems less expressive on the nose than their St-Véran En Crèches, although there is still a lot of flavour to enjoy here, and the finish has greater concentration of fruit, plus a charming salted note. Drinking range: 2018 - 2022 Rating: 17 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2017)

(from three vineyards located in Vergisson and Fuissé). An interesting and notably ripe nose features notes of liqueur-like pear and apple aromas that are trimmed in just enough wood to notice. Once again there is excellent size, weight and richness to the succulent, indeed even opulent flavors that possess plenty of sappy dry extract before culminating in a sneaky long finale where a hint of bitter lemon arises. 2019+ Rating: 88-91 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Dec 2016)

(this is the estate's only Pouilly-Fuissé blend; the rest are from single sites; vinified in fûts and demi-muids, plus 15% cuve; this and the following 2015s had been racked into tanks a week before my visit and were slated to be bottled in November): Full, bright medium yellow. Very ripe aromas of musky peach, soft citrus fruits, marzipan, smoke and minerals are almost honeyed but not oxidative like the Saint-Véran Les Pommards, which conveyed strong salty minerality and considerable concentration but was going through an awkward stage. Pliant, sweet and deep but also quite suave, showing lovely lemony grip and serious energy. This extremely smooth wine boasts excellent balance and finishes firm and long. These vines range from 40 to 60 years of age, according to Julien Barraud, and are planted on "mostly classic Vergisson broken limestone, with one parcel featuring some iron oxide that contributes more minerality." He went on: "The sand in the clay is very quick-draining, which holds down yields, but we don't normally have problems with hydric stress here. The grapes retain their sappiness and are picked toward the end of the harvest, as the ripeness comes late." Rating: 89-91 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com(Oct 2016)

Domaine Daniel Barraud

Daniel and Martine Barraud, now joined by their son Julien, 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).

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