2015 Domaine Valette Macon Chaintre Vieilles Vignes

2015 Domaine Valette Macon Chaintre Vieilles Vignes

5 in stock


5 in stock 1.33 kg . .


(from 65-year-old vines; bottled a full two and a half years after the harvest; 80% aged in oak and 20% in tank): Vinified and bottled without sulfur, Valette’s 2015 Mâcon-Chaintré Vieilles Vignes responds well to oxygen—in fact, it’s best decanted. Opening in the glass with aromas of buttered orchard fruit, orange rind, smoke and nutmeg, the wine is medium to full-bodied, satiny-textured and muscular, with lively acids, chewy structuring extract and a long, sapid finish. This is an intensely characterful Mâcon-Chaintré that exemplifies the last two decades of reflection and evolution chez Valette. Any readers who find parallels with the wines of Jean-François Ganevat will be interested to know that Valette told me that the two producers are working with fruit that grows in the same strata of Jurassic limestone—though there are clearly technical and philosophical parallels too.
92/100 William Kelley | The Wine Advocate | Issue 244 End of August 2019

The Valette’s are known for their specific style, wines raised with thorough lees-contact and without racking. They have remained true to this style of winemaking since the 1950s. It is a sort of family-tradition that requires accuracy as well as painstaking detail knowledge of the indigenous yeasts and the wine’s proneness to develop reductive flavors. Again, an art.

When working their vineyards, the Valettes respect long standing local traditions. In every second row of vines there is dense ground vegetation that protects microorganisms living in the upper soil-layers. It also naturally rivals the vines’ top-soil roots for nutrition. This way, the vines are forced to quickly root into deeper soil layers in order to secure a steady supply of minerals and nutrients.

During the summer months, workers constantly attend the upper layers of the vineyard soil. They use a self-constructed machine that rearranges the top 5 cm without actually plowing the ground. By doing so, a sufficient amount of oxygen is introduced into the soil, without affecting the microorganisms living deeper down.

This procedure is repeated 3 to 4 times a year in all of Domaine Valette’s vineyards. Philippe explains the advantage of this approach by showing that the soil becomes more resistant to erosion. It can compensate much larger volumes of rainfall than conventionally treated soils.

Grapes are harvested during a descending moon at optimum ripeness (I can vouch or that as I ate plenty off the vine!) by hand into 5kg cagettes and taken to the winery where they are whole bunch pressed and fermented using ambient yeast in either tank (Macon-Villages) barrique or demi-muid of various ages. Depending on the origin of the grapes the élevage can be anywhere from 2 years to 6 years and the wines are kept on the fine lees and bottled with just a dab of S02.
Like the top wines of Raveneau or Ganevat, these wines have a level of concentration that gives the wines an extraordinary intensity, levity and persistence, and it also goes some way to protecting them in bottle.

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