Andre Bonhomme Vire Clesse Vieilles Vignes 2010
Through careful vine growing and vinification, André received enormous respect from his colleagues. He was not only the co-founder of the Independent Winemakers of the Saone-et-Loire; he also was one of the principal initiators of the new Vire-Clesse appellation in the 1990s.
Andre has now passed the torch to his daughter Jacqueline and her husband Eric Palthey. They were recently joined by their son Aurelien who acquired a enology degree in 2007 and his brother Johan who recently completed his wine studies. ?
The domaine presently covers 11 hectares located on the clay and limestone soils of both the Vire and Clesse communes. 98% of their production is white, although they also make a little red from Gamay.
These are the fun, fruit-driven and lively Chardonnays of white Burgundy, often offering some fantastic values and options that you don’t have to cellar. Flavors range from fresh green apple and lemon to melon or pineapple; some of the best are fleshy and mineral driven or balanced by a light touch of oak.
Mâconnais Chardonnay may have the weight of their more serious Côte de Beaune sisters, but not quite the refinement. Still, this appellation is one of the best ways to jump from California Chardonnay to something new and begin to understand white Burgundy.
The Mâconnais region is warmer and drier than the rest of Burgundy to its north (Côte d’Or) and has a landscape of rolling hills and farmland interspersed among vineyards. The region produces a lot of Chardonnay—Viré-Clessé and Pouilly-Fuisse are among the best—and a very small amount of red wine from Gamay and Pinot Noir. The soils of Mâconnais remain limestone dominant like in the Côte d’Or, making it a wonderful spot for Chardonnay to thrive. Gamay's home of Beaujolais lies just to the south.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.