2022 La Roche Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

Grapes Chardonnay
Colour White
Origin France, Burgundy
District Mâconnais
Village Saint Véran
ABV 13%
Vineyard La Roche

The 2022 Saint-Véran La Roche (from west-facing, 80-year-old vines that tend never to produce more than 30hL/ha) was picked on August 31, this vintage. It has a clean and precise bouquet, taut and fresh, showing delicate tension with chalk and saline scents. The palate is not unlike the A La Côte but with a little more bite towards the finish. Great length - this leaves the mouth tingling for a minute afterward. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, (Jun 2023)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

Saint-Véran La Roche is the favourite of Frantz's partner Caroline. And its easy to see the appeal here. There's a cool elegance here. Minerality, spiciness, charming aromatics too – this has it all. A real salty minerality, very complex and alluring. Very good. It really builds on the finish too – exuberant. Great concentration and intensity. Frantz points out there are gentle tannins here, adding to the grip. Superb. At 75-80 years, these are Frantz's oldest vineyards. The grapes are always affected by Millerandage that adds another positive crunch and complexity. All done in barrels only - 10% new.L&S (Nov 2023)

Certified organic. Riper fruited and more orangey than La Fournaise. Lots of fine acid tension here, tighter than La Fournaise, more direct and precise. Very good and GV, especially if it ages as well as I imagine. (JH) Drinking range: 2025 - 2032 Rating: 16.5++ Julia Harding MW, (Feb 2024)

Like the Pouilly-Fuissé above, there is a welcome degree of genuine tension in this cuvée that is absent in many Mâconnais wines, and this makes it another cunning purchase, not least because it shows a lip-smacking finish! Rating: 17.5 Matthew Jukes (Jan 2024)

Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau

Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon, who was until 2022 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 vinification 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 in a style which is bright and incisive, expressive and pure - and well worth seeking out.

Macon Villages Le Clos Saint Pancras : 3.55 ha
These vines were planted in 2000. 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.
Viré Clessé Les Raspillères : 0.73 ha
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.
St Véran Prélude : 2.3 ha
Poor, calcareous soils. 15% new wood in demi-muids (500l barrels). 45 year old vines in several plots - the earliest ripening.
St Véran la Roche : 0.42 ha
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.
St Véran à La Côte : 0.25 ha
The highest vineyard of the domaine at 400m, on red earth, in Chasselas. Aged in demi-muids with no new wood.
St Véran La Fournaise : 0.21ha
All aged in demi-muids with no new wood. The whitest and most mineral soil they have.
Pouilly Fuissé Pastoral : 0.45 ha
Pouilly Fuissé Madrigal : 0.25 ha
From Vergisson, (mostly 'en Carmentrant') and all aged in barrel, but no new wood even if some are recent.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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