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Planted in 2005. A 30% slope and poor soil, thin at the top. Originally planted with Gamay, it was abandoned after phylloxera, then brought back from being scrubland by a forester who was passionate about wine and who realised it had once been a vineyard. Lovely greenish colour, taut and fresh yet gorgeously generous too - good acidity, and a touch of salinity. It's a late-ripening place, the fruit is green and sappy, with a bright citrussy length. L&S (Oct 2018)
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Tight and fresh and much more in reserve than the Mâcon-Villages. Drinking range: 2021 - 2025 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2019)
The 2017 Viré-Clessé Les Raspillières has a vibrant and beautifully defined bouquet, with apricot blossom and honeysuckle scents pouring from the glass. The palate is crisp and linear on the entry, displaying a modicum of spice, and quite taut toward the finish, but there is wonderful complexity here. I cannot recommend this highly enough. Drinking range: 2019 - 2029 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Jan 2019)
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.
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