I’ve grown a bit fond of thematically focused drinking. Having the bracket of a common theme four times in four weeks promises, at least in theory, a little bit of insight. Now, of course, you can argue that in just 4 weeks, this can’t even be called scratching the surface, and will leave any attempt at discussion a winner. But then again, you have to start somewhere and drink your way up. In Burgundy, that’s not so easy. Apart from the knowledge that I quite like Chardonnay and Pinot, I don’t have much of an idea about Burgundy and thus at the same time have already dropped Aligoté and consorts under the table. And as we have already tasted you might miss a lot by doing that. So we don’t want to be like that and will also look a tiny bit beyond the plate of the Chardonnay and the Pinot in the next contributions. Complicating the exploration of Burgundy is the fact that if you have no idea, you can easily leave a lot for little special there. My strategy in trusting dealers where I like the rest of the assortment and to listen to recommendations and reports of people where the other recommendations also fit, worked out quite well so far. And sometimes I also buy stuff where I liked the labels on Instagram. But that’s another story.
Let’s start with Chardonnay. The La Soufrandière winery has been around since 1947 and is located in Vinzelles in the Mâconnais. This in turn is located in the south of Burgundy just above the Beaujolais. Today’s wine comes from the En Chatenay site in the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation in the very south of the Mâconnais. If one wants to write the appelation also on the label, then here is always Chardonnay in the bottle. The vines of the winery have been farmed biodynamically since the current generation took over around 2000. In addition to the wines from the family winery La Soufrandiére, there are also a number of wines under the Bret Brothers label, where the grapes are purchased on the vine and then harvested and made into wine by the estate’s own team. The grapes for the En Chatenay come from vines up to 80 years old, were harvested by hand and fermented spontaneously. After aging in wood and in tanks, it is then bottled without filtration or fining with little added sulfur.
The wine is a bit wild on the nose, has citrus, papaya, some buttery pastry and a slight vanilla note. Fresh it is and a lot of freshness arrives on the tongue as well. Some fruit also makes it there, accompanied by quite a fine structure and a fair amount of saltiness mixed with unripe pineapple. It’s not loud, but there’s still quite a bit going on.
And once again, it shows that drinking wine over several days is a good idea. A lot has happened over night. On the nose now there are herbs like sage and some apple skin. On the tongue comes citrus and further this intense saltiness and minerality. The acidity has kicked up another notch, reminiscent of juicy green apples and packs a punch. The overall structure is really nice. On the one hand, it is very fine and delicate, then it pulls lightly on the palate and tongue and when the liquid has long since taken its leave in the direction of the throat, there is still something there and just won’t go away. I must say that the wine places the bar for the coming bottles quite high. This is really good.