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Burgundy Wine Cellars

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Type
White

Château de Vergisson Saint Veran 2019

Appellation
Saint Veran
Region
Maconnais
Vintage
2019
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$34.00
 
SKU: EVER01W-19
Overview

AVAILABLE TO SHIP SEPTEMBER 2020

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 2019

There’s a popular saying here in Burgundy which points out that, since the start of the 20th century, vintages ending in ‘9’ have been exceptional. So when 2019 came around, we were secretly anticipating something special. Little did we know!

Every vintage comes with its own hyperbole: best of the decade; greatest of the century; another 1990.  And it’s true, as the climate continues to warm, there has been some remarkable wine produced in recent years. But in Burgundy in 2019, it got hot.

Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay like to come to maturity slowly. Too much heat cooks the elegance out of them.  So climate change is an existential issue for Burgundy wine as we know it.

But in 2019 something remarkable happened.  I hesitate to call it a paradigm shift; it may well be a one-off.  But in a year where, in some places, grapes turned to raisins on the vine, Burgundy has given us a vintage worthy of the hyperbole.

You won’t find many lacey, delicate wines this year.  The vintage will be unapologetically bold and unbelievably concentrated. The whites are indulgent, often explosive, and pinned to a mind-bogglingly good acidic framework, given the summer heat.  The reds are sophisticated and elegant, alive.

Perhaps most tellingly, despite the hot summer, this was not one of those late-August harvests that we’re getting accustomed to.  The harvest got underway in the Cote de Beaune on 12 September.  And some in the Cote de Nuits did not begin picking until the 23rd. The fruit was ripe earlier, but the fine conditions allowed the growers to wait for the holy grail: phenolic maturity.

You rarely get fruit maturity (the sugar part of the equation) plus phenolic maturity (the tannins in the pips and stems) coming together at the same time. Usually you sacrifice one for the other.  You can’t force it to happen. Nature bestows it upon you.  But when it does happen, that, almost by definition, is a great vintage.

2019 will be a great vintage.  Think 2018 with more energy. The only downside is that, as opposed to the bumper crop we saw in 2018, 2019 was a small crop.  Down by as much as 60% in the southern zones where it was hottest.

Let’s look quickly at how the season developed.  The winter 2018/19 was mild, with higher than average temperatures in December and February.  There was a lot of rain in December which many claim could ultimately have saved the vintage from the summer’s drought.

Spring was warm and the growth cycle started earlier than usual. There were precocious zones with bud burst in early April.  But cold weather set in on 5 April with frost in many areas. Frost damage would have an effect on yields, particularly in the Maconnais. The cold weather held on through mid-April with several consequential frost risks.

Warm weather returned in May and remained until early June when temperatures dropped again, slowing growth again and hindering flowering. There was a good bit of flower abortion (millerandage), which, again, took its part of the yield at harvest.

Then mid-summer was hot-hot  And dry-dry. The vines, for the most part, were in good shape going into the heat wave, but the stress was excessive.  Vines handled the conditions differently from one plot to the next. Consensus is that old vines, with their deep roots, were able to find water in the subsoil.  And that younger, well-tended vines, had a similar advantage.  Vines with roots that went looking for water near the surface, however, suffered towards the end of the season, as they scorched and shriveled.

There was just a bit of rain in August, and from then on through September was hot but fine. In certain areas Pinot Noir ripened before Chardonnay, so harvest planning was complicated. The first Cremant vineyards were picked at the very end of August, and the harvest continued through to mid-October.

Harvest was a joy for the most part.  Good weather.  No disease. And the fruit that survived frost and fire was beautiful. Fermentation in both white and red went off easily.  Whites finished slowly, gently, giving balance and purity. The length of red fermentation varied a lot, but the tannins are fine and the wine has vigor.

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

Harvest Date
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