Domaine Corinne & Thierry Drouin
2010 "La Roche" Macon-Vergisson AOC
Chardonnay •Mâcon-Vergisson AOC
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Return of the Poet
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a delicious and value oriented white Burgundy for our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Domaine Corinne & Thierry Drouin
Wine Subject: 2010 “La Roche” Mâcon-Vergisson AOC
Located in the broader Burgundy region of the Mâconnais (about half way between Lyon and Beaune, Mâcon-Vergisson is one of the five communes located in and making up the Pouilly-Fuissé. The region’s wine-making history dates back about 1600 years. It is often grouped with Beaujolais (just south of the region) since its red grape is predominantly Gamay. The whites which make up most of the production (88%) in the region, like the rest of Burgundy, are Chardonnay. The wines of the Mâcon-Vergisson are known to be richer than its neighboring vineyard’s wines and have more aging potential.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Clear and bright golden with deep straw yellow tints that pales only slightly at the edges. When swirled, this slightly more springy wine leaves slow clusters of medium thick legs hang before deliberately descending to the wine below.
Smell – Aromatic in intensity, this wine initially greats you with an ripe and fragrant blend of sweet white peach and golden apple along with a touch of citrus fruit that blend with creamy vanilla and white floral notes. Layered underneath are balanced notes of spice, toasted oak, minerality, creamy vanilla, butter and a hint of nuttiness.
Feel – Smooth and dry with good weight, this medium to full-bodied white wine balances its vibrant acidity with its creamy and soft buttery texture and leaves a touch of spice on the back and sides of the tongue.
Taste – Rich, ripe and sweet stone, tree and citrus fruit that is integrated with tasted vanilla creme and a touch of butter, creamy vanilla and toasted oak. The white floral, nuttiness, spice and minerality form the nose find there way onto the palate in a balanced way.
Finish – Clean with its lingering flavors supported by both a touch of bright acidity and its creamy texture that lingers on the palate and invites another sip.
Conclusion – The 2010 Corinne & Thierry Drouin ‘La Roche’ Mâcon-Vergisson AOC is perhaps a little bit more ripe than the 2007 vintage that we featured last year. A delicious and expressive French Chardonnay that delivers great aromas, flavors and mouth-feel. This wine is perfect to pair with raw seafood, creamy avocado salad or lighter fare.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Domaine Corinne & Thierry Drouin can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Medium bodied with concentrated floral and white fruit aromas. Great fruit expression with buttery and vanilla flavors that are balanced by crisp acidity. Rich, well-structured wine, silky with an integrated oak, long finish, a wine for early drinking or aging.
The wine is produced from 28-year-old vines that are grown at an elevation of 984 feet on east-facing hillside beneath the massive limestone cliffs of Roche de Solutré and the Roché de Vergisson in the Côte Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy. The grapes are cultivated, harvested and sorted by hand. The wine is matured in oak barrels (only 25 percent new) for 10 months. During aging, the lees (the sediment that occurs during fermentation and aging from disintegrating yeast cells) are stirred once or twice a week, depending upon the vintage.
Winemaking: Slow pneumatic pressing, juice feed into vats by gravity not pumps, 12-18 hours must settling, fermentation and malolactic fermentation in barrels, lees stirring once or twice a week, depending upon the vintage, maturing on fine lees for 10 months in 25% new oak barrels, assembled in stainless steel vat one month before bottling, no filtration.
About The Winery:
Domaine Corrine & Thierry Drouin is located in the Côte Mâconnais region. Taking its name from the city of Mâcon, the region is near the most southern tip of Burgundy, and is almost entirely dedicated to the production of Chardonnay. It has been hailed by noted wine writer Jancis Robinson, OBE, MW (columnist to the Financial Times, editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine and co-author of the World Atlas of Wine) as offering some of the best white wine values in the world.
In the United States, this region is probably most famous for being the home of Pouilly Fuissé. But the Côte Mâconnais is more than Pouilly Fuissé. Within this region is the tiny appellation of Mâcon-Vergisson. Wines from Mâcon-Vergisson are known for being dry and fruity, rich and well balanced with good acidity and mineral notes. These are food friendly wines that pair beautifully with chicken, fish and shellfish. Choose the right producer, and the wines from Mâcon-Vergisson offer excellent quality for the price. Think of them as a wonderful, affordable alternative to the more expensive Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet wines produced in the north.
The small, artisanal winery of Domaine Corrine & Thierry Drouin is one of those producers who gets it right. Established in 1984, the Domaine covers 9 hectares (a little over 22 acres). Truly a family-run operation, Thierry Drouin traces his history as a winemaker back through his father and grandfather. Today, with his wife Corinne, he uses the same methods that he learned under their tutelage. He is also a long time believer in certain aspects of “biodynamic” wine production; no insecticides are used to treat the vines, for instance, and herbicides are used only when necessary.
Thierry and Corinne Drouin’s commitment to quality is reflected in the care given to the fruit at each step of the process, from the cultivation of the grapes, to their harvesting, to their vinification. To allow a high concentration of flavors in the fruit, the vines are pruned to leave only 8 to 10 buds on a cane, and in the spring, excess grapes are removed. Manual leaf removal in the summer gives the grapes optimal sun exposure and promotes ripening (the main leaves are untouched and fewer leaves are removed during particularly hot or dry summers to ensure that the grapes are not burned). In the fall, the grapes are harvested and sorted by hand.
In the cellars, Thierry Drouin uses very little new oak. Most of the barrels are between 1 and 5 years old. This ensures that the wines are not the over-oaked and under-fruited one-trick ponies that have turned off so many people to Chardonnay. As the wines are aged in barrels, the lees (the sediment that occurs during fermentation and aging from disintegrating yeast cells) are stirred once or twice a week, depending upon the vintage. This gives the wines complexity and body, both in their aromas and their “mouthfeel.”
The end results are wines that allow the natural characteristics of the Chardonnay grape and the terroir – that unique combination of the climate, soil and topography – to shine through.
We are currently selling Domaine Corrine & Drouin, “La Roche” 2007, Mâcon-Vergisson. While it has net yet reviewed the 2007 vintage, Decanter highly recommended “La Roche” 2006, Mâcon-Vergisson in a blind tasting of 168 wines from the Mâcon-Village region, rating it four out of five stars (one of only 14 wines in the tasting to receive this ranking). The 2007 vintage is expected to be as good, if not better, based on harvest conditions. “La Roche” 2007 is medium bodied with concentrated floral and white fruit aromas; it has great fruit expression with buttery and vanilla flavors that are balanced by crisp acidity. It makes a fabulous pairing with a range of food, especially fish, shellfish and poultry.
Wine Type: White Wine
Aging: Ten months of 25% new oak barrel aging
Production: Practicing organic