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Maison Valette, Macon Chaintre, NV

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Apple, Hazelnut, Salty

Burgundy / White / Chardonnay / Organic

Farming

Organic

Producer

Maison Valette

Grape

Chardonnay

Wine Type

White

Country

France

Region

Macon-Chaintré AOC, Burgundy

Vintage

NV

Alcohol

14%

Size

75cl


From vines with an average age of 65 years, planted on silty-clay soils. Harvest is manual, the grapes picked at perfect maturity during a descending moon into five kilo crates. Once at the winery they are whole-bunch pressed, whereupon the juice flows directly by gravity into casks with the lees and ferments with native yeasts. Elevage is 26-months months on fine lees, 80% in used oak and 20% in tank. The wine is not filtered or fined and no sulphur is added. Really textural with a lovely play between saltyness and minerality. Gives a new style to Macon-Chaintré.

Notes on the Producer

Maison Valette, based in Chaintré in the south of Burgundy between Mâcon and Beaujolais, comprises 8.5 hectares and is run by one of the region’s steadfastly independent families who have worked the estate for three successive generations, first as tenants and now today as owners. The day to day running of the estate is mostly handled by Gérard’s sons Philippe and Baptiste.

After finishing wine school in 1990, Philippe Valette made the decision to convert the vineyards to organics. The next two years were full of trial and error considering his wine education never included anything about organic viticulture.  Valette eschews chemicals in their viticulture in favour of careful nurturing of the soils and vines. In order to obtain ‘terroir’ wines, they do a great deal of work on the microbial life of the soil, so that the vines will thrive there. To achieve this, he aerates the soil by tilling or grassing, depending on the geographical and geological configuration of the plot. In this way, well-balanced grapes are obtained and they are left on the vines until they are perfectly ripe.

Harvesting is done by hand, in little crates; a gentle pneumatic press is used; work is done by gravity rather than pumps, followed by light settling, all without any sulphur. The wines undergo long yet subtle barrel ageing and are unfiltered, unfined, and unsulphured. Certain cuvées may even be subject to eight years of ageing, like their legendary Clos de Monsieur Noly. A level of density and complexity seldom reached in this region, sometimes complemented by beautiful oxidative notes, which, alas, are not always understood by the uninitiated.



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