Currently owned and run by Baptiste and Estelle Philippe, this fine organically-managed estate in the Maconnais can claim a long history spanning five generations. Situated within the ‘cru’ of Viré-Clessé, the tiny estate’s prime focus is to allow its wines to express the authentic character of its precise origins. Baptiste emphasises “Our philosophy is to look for balance and biodiversity in our soils in order to get the finest grapes”. In 2006 Baptiste and Estelle decided to convert their vineyard to organic cultivation. After the obligatory three years ‘en conversion’ the domaine was officially certified in 2009. The vineyards, in which many of the vines are over a hundred years old, are maintained by both ploughing and controlled natural grass cover. Only a limited use of sulphur and copper is necessary for treatments since the organic cultivation approach has helped to restore the vines’ natural defences.
In the cellar, the aim is to be as sensitive to the grapes’ natural flavour and personality by being as low-interventionist as possible. Hand picked grapes, harvested at optimum maturity in order to ensure both concentration and aromatic intensity, are pressed very gently. Long, cool fermentations in stainless steel tanks, using indigenous yeasts, take three to six months to complete. The wines maintain their freshness and are nourished by extended ageing on fine lees until bottling, often as much as a further six months later.
Sourced entirely from a single plot of 100 year old vines grown on a limestone/clay soil. Grapes are harvested at the optimum time in order to ensure concentration of flavour as well as a fine aromatic expression. Natural yeasts undertake a long, slow fermentation in order to allow maximum expression of the terroir. Maturation for 12 months in tank on the fine lees brings added richness and ageing ability. A fine, classic Macon Villages bouquet with aromatic tones of pear, white flowers and a touch of exotic fruits. Gentle, creamy and yet perfectly balanced with a telling cut of fresh acidity and a trace of minerality. Alive, pure and seamless.
Domaine de la Verpaille - Macon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
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