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Château de Vergisson Saint Veran 2017

Château de Vergisson Saint Veran 2017

Appellation
Saint Veran
Region
Maconnais
Vintage
2017
Add To Cart
$29.00
 
SKU: EVER01W-17
Overview

This wine is pure pleasure.  Raised in stainless steel tanks, it’s pure, open, fresh, with a noseful of rich, ripe fruit that snaps with mineralty, and a mouthful of freshness that’s like biting into the grape bunch. Charming every-day drinking Burgundy!

Producer

After having taken over their family vineyards, Stephanie Saumaize and Pierre Laroche created the Domaine du Chateau de Vergisson in 2012, and were soon turning heads in Pouilly-Fuisse and the Maconnais. The young couple are from two different families of grape farmers, Stephanie from Solutre and Pierre from Vergisson, villages that sit at the base of the dominant limestone outcrops that mark both the terrain and the terroir of Pouilly Fuisse.

Neither family made wine, however.  Rather they sold their produce to negociant houses in the area. So when Stephanie and Pierre took over the vineyards, renovated the Chateau de Vergisson as their home and winery and started bottling under their own label, they appeared to come out of nowhere. And for us, it is a match made in Elden wine heaven!

Their first vintage was 2012, so the domain is still relatively unknown.  But the quality and finesse of their production thrust them into the limelight here in Burgundy, and we are pleased to be the first to bring their wines to the US.

Le domain lays out over 10 ha (24 acres), mostly in appellation Pouilly-Fuisse, though they also produce appellation Saint Veran and Macon-Solutre.

They have three distinct ‘cuvees’ of Pouilly-Fuisse, notably an old-vine parcel of ‘Sur la Roche’ in Vergisson  which was planted by Pierre’s great-grandfather nearly 100 years ago.  ‘Sur la Roche’ will soon be elevated to ‘premier cru’ status, so keep this one on your radar. They also have a holding in the tiny ‘Clos en Charmont’ which produces an astoundingly explosive Pouilly-Fuisse.

While their vineyard work is organic, the couple are not ready to jump through the hoops necessary to have the official accreditation. Perhaps in the future, Pierre says.  They feel that their installation is still young, so they are taking things as they develop.

Their families used to harvest by machine, but Stephanie and Pierre returned to manual harvesting in 2015.  It’s an important change qualitatively. Grapes from quality vineyards in the Maconnais need to be watched closely for maturity.   Their’s are wine of great depth, richness and opulence which require attention to detail.

New oak is used judiciously, and only on certain ‘cuvees’. Their Saint-Veran ‘la Cote Rotie’ and the Pouilly-Fuisse ‘Clos en Charmont’ are raised in larger-than-normal (500 liter) barrels, so that oak does not dominate wine.

Up to now, these wines were sold principally in France. But the word is out.  With a bevy of gold and silver awards that they started to collect right from their first vintage, the Domaine du Chateau de Vergisson is the new kid on the block and already one of the top producers in the appellation.

Vintage

BURGUNDY 2017

If 2016 tested the faith and resolve of wine makers in Burgundy, 2017 has to be seen as recompense, and as a miracle of sorts. While the rest of wine-growing Europe suffered crippling late-spring frosts in 2017, Burgundy for the most part (for once!) survived.

A mild winter and an accelerated spring left the Burgundy vineyards in a vulnerable position when, in the second half of April, temperatures across France barely rose above freezing for two weeks.

Three hard-frost nights pretty much did in Right Bank Chablis once again. But as the rest of Burgundy survived the first week, the growers found the will to fight back. And on the night of April 27th, a year and a day after the 2016 frost that took 80% of the 2016 harvest, a severe frost was forecast for the length of the Cote d’Or.

It’s now a part of local legend how, on the following morning, we awoke in a thick cloud of smoke.  In the early hours, from north to south, the vignerons had mobilized to set alight dampened bales of hay, sending up a cloud cover to filter the first burning rays of dawn. And it worked.

The air was thick, and driving was tricky. A customer at the butcher shop in Meursault jokingly asked for a smoked chicken. And, of course, the authorities were up in arms over the pollution risks.  But the crop was saved, and there has been ever since a spirit of cooperation and solidarity not often seen in farming communities.

After the freeze, May brought in an extended period of warm dry weather.  No mildew or oidium to speak of, no thunderstorms or hail.  Sunny periods, but no lack of rain.  And the vines went in to flower at a very-normal first week of June. Pretty much ideal.

July had a couple of heat spikes, and a hailstorm hit the fancy vineyards in Morey St Denis on the 10th. But nothing worse. August was warm; the lead up to the harvest at the end of the month, hot and dry.

The first grapes were picked in the Cote de Beaune in the last few days of August.  And most everyone was out picking in the first week of September.

There was (as there often is in Burgundy) serious disagreement in 2017 about when to pick. Do you pick early to preserve the acid-sugar balance and freshness?  Or do you hang in there and wait for a little rain to kick-start a stalled photosynthesis, and thereby achieve the holy grail of phenolic maturity?

It’s hard to say who was right.  There are very good wines coming from both camps. But there are iffy wines too.  And that’s the key to understanding 2017.

Picked early, the best wines, both red and white, are fresh, fruit-driven and floral with long minerality.  The iffy wines seem not have adjusted for the solid levels of tartaric acid which left them tart rather than bright, dry and tannic rather than juicy.

Picking late did not seem to have an effect on the balance between alcohol and acidity.  But then, there was no ‘over maturity’ in 2017.  The extra phenolic maturity seems to mean more density and riper tannins, with no sign of flabbiness.

The whites shine, particularly in hard-done Chablis (where there is better balance even than the marvelous 2014s).  In the rest of Burgundy, the whites have the tension of 2014 but the open flattery of 2015.

The reds are juicy and crisp and open, and the regional appellations will be ready to drink soon. More serious appellations will be considered ‘typical’, in the best sense of the word: classic wines from a vintage that Burgundians will love. They are likely to be lost in the hub-bub that the 2018s will bring.  But the yields were good in 2017, so you will be able to find them for a while.  And you’ll do well to seek them out.

Appellation

SAINT VERAN

MACONNAIS

The rocky outcrops of Solutré and Vergisson, emblematic of these vineyards, remind us 20,000 years ago one of the most fully evolved prehistoric cultures flourished here. The region is a magnificent landscape, and the wine villages are charming tourist destinations. Pouilly and Fuisse are two distinct villages in the production zone, but their wines and those from the villages of Vergisson and Chaintre are sold under the Pouilly-Fuisse appellation.

Produced in the communes of Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly, Vergisson and Chaintré.

Wines

Pouilly-Fuisse should be elegant and full of charm, with its distinctive minerality to the fore. It ranges in color from pale to golden, and the nose, often dominated by flinty smoke can be nutty, floral, citric, biscuity, grassy and honeyed, making this one of the most varied of the white Burgundies. Terroir plays heavily in the wines from this appellation, and accounts for the enormous number of named vineyards being bottled separately. An experienced taster can distinguish zones and even individual vineyards. Pouilly-Fuisse, well made, is a noble wine, opulent and structured.

Terroirs

Lying on a foundation of fossiliferous limestone identical to those found further north in the Côte-d'Or, the bajocien escarpments of Solutré and Vergisson owe their dramatic profile to the presence of hard fossil corals which have resisted erosion. The vines are planted on the slopes and at the foot of these two hills on clay-limestone soils of jurassic origin mixed with scree from the upper slopes and, in one spot, schist. The hillsides are cut into by little steep-sided streams which give the slopes an easterly or south-easterly exposure. Altitudes are 200 to 300 meters.

Color

White wines only - Chardonnay

Production surface area

1 hectare (ha) = 2,4 acres

757.20 ha

Food

Rich and complex, Pouilly-Fuisse has a characteristic hint of minerality which makes it work with some noble ingredients like crustaceans (king prawns, lobster, crayfish) and foie gras. When acidity and minerality are in balance, it goes well with white meats such as veal or poultry in cream sauce, as well with the goat's cheese that the region is famous for. Its aromatic power means it can also match spicy and perfumed dishes such as couscous, tajines, or sweet-and-sour oriental dishes.

Appellations

On the label, the appellation 'Pouilly-Fuisse' may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.

The following climats are village wines from a single vineyard, known as a lieu-dit:

A la Chaneau

A la Cotonne

A la Croix Bonne

Au Bois Billon

Au Bourg

Au Bucherat

Au Buchot

Au Chapal

Au Clos

Au Gaulia

Au Gros Bois

Au May

Au Métertière

Au Moule

Au Peloux

Au Sauge

Au Suif

Au Vignerais

Aux Bouthières

Aux Chailloux

Aux Charmes

Aux Combes

Aux Concizes

Aux Coreaux

Aux Grands Champs

Aux Morlays

Aux Murs

Aux Plantés

Aux Prats

Aux Quarts

Aux Vignes Dessus

Barvay

Beauregard

Bois Dayer

Bois de Lacroix

Bois des Fousses

Bois du Molard

Bois Lafaye

Bois Sansonnet

Bois Seguin

Champ Potard

Champ Ruy

Clos de la Maison

Clos Gaillard

Combe Poncet

Derrière la Maison

En Bertillonne

En Bonnard

En Buland

En Buterie

En Carmentrant

En Cenan

En Champ Roux

En Charmont

En Chatenay

En Chauffaille

En Courtesse

En France

En Larzille

En Nanche

En Ouche

En Pomard

En Pragne

En Recepey

En Ronchevat

En Rontenoux

En Rousselaine

En Servy

En Tancul

En Tillier

En Vallée

L'Arse

La Barrière

La Baudotte

La Bergerie

La Brétaude

La Bucharlatte

La Cadole

La Carrière

La Chardette

La Chattière

La Corège

La Côte

La Croix Pardon

La Dépendaine

La Folle

La Frérie

La Gorge au Loup

La Grange Murger

La Grouillère

La Maréchaude

La Mouille

La Petite Bruyère

La Roue

La Ruère

La Teppe Charpy

La Terre Jeanduc

La Toule

La Truche

La Verchère

La Vigne des Verchères

Lamure

Le Bois des Taches

Le Carron

Le Champ Rocher

Le Clos

Le Clos de Monsieur Noly

Le Clos Reyssier

Le Grand Pré

Le Haut de Savy

Le Martelet

Le Moulin

Le Nambret

Le Plan

Le Repostère

Le Routé

Le Sabotier

Le Sang Clos

Les Belouzes

Les Bois Denis

Les Brulés

Les Chardonnets

Les Chataigniers

Les Chevaux

Les Chevrières

Les Combettes

Les Condemines

Les Courtelongs

Les Crays

Les Creuzettes

Les Croux

Les Fourneaux

Les Gerbeaux

Les Grandes Terres

Les Guilloux

Les Insarts

Les Jettes

Les Longues Raies

Les Ménétrières

Les Murgers

Les Perrières

Les Piasses

Les Plessis

Les Prâles

Les Préauds

Les Prés Hauts

Les Prouges

Les Quarts

Les Robées

Les Rontets

Les Rossins

Les Scélés

Les Séries

Les Terres du Perret

Les Travers

Les Verchères

Les Verchères de Savy

Les Vernays

Les Vieilles Plantes

Les Vignes Blanches

Les Vignes des Taches

Long Poil

Maison du Villard

Mont Garcin

Petite Croix

Petites Bruyères

Pierre Lotey

Plan de Bourdon

Pouilly

Pré de Vaux

Pré des Aires

Solutré

Sous le Four

Sur la Roche

Sur la Rochette

Sur les Moulins

Vergisson

ers Agnières

Vers Châne

Vers Cras

Vers Faux

Vers la Croix

Vers la Roche

Vers Pouilly

Vers Saint Léger

Vignes de la Fontaine

Vignes de la Hys

Vignes de la l'Eau

Vignes de la Roche

Vignes Derrière

Vignes des Champs

Vignes du Riat

Vignes Mottin

Vignes sur la Fontaine

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