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Barton & Guestier Pouilly-Fuisse 1998

Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Situated at the southern end of Burgundy, the Pouilly-Fuissé region is the most renowned of those in the Mâcon region. The vines grow in five villages: Pouilly, Fuissé, Chaintré, Vergisson and Solutré. The soil is composed of chalk and marl, typical of the five localities. The wines are made from the Chardonnay grape as are all the great white Burgundies. VINTAGE In Burgundy 1998 is truly "the year of the winegrower," a difficult and irregular vintage. From the beginning of the year a series of climatic challenges followed each other: spring frosts and hailstorms reduced the volume of the crop in some zones of the Mâcon region; a long lasting flowering was the cause of irregular ripening and a rainy month of July provoked mildew. August, on the other hand, was extremely hot, which allowed rapid color change and a promising start to the ripening process. The rain fell at the beginning and the end of September, with sun-filled days in between. Harvest took place during this time under excellent conditions. In Pouilly Fuissé harvest began on September 19th and the quality of the grapes, which had been exceptional at the start of the month, was good in spite of a slight dilution due to rain the previous week. WINEMAKING The grapes were pressed immediately on reaching the cellar. The must was allowed to settle for a few hours at cellar temperature in order to obtain very clear juice. Alcoholic fermentation took place in concrete and wooden vats. The malolactic fermentation occurred in the spring, following the harvest. The wines were then racked, fined and filtered before bottling. WINEMAKER NOTES Brilliant, pale straw yellow color. Fine and elegant aromas dominated by flower and fruit (white peaches) aromas, with mint flavors appearing if the glass is swirled. The wine has a relatively light structure, but is well balanced with a strong floral finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Barton & Guestier

    Barton & Guestier

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    Barton & Guestier, Burgundy, France
    The company's founder, Thomas Barton, left his native Ireland and emigrated to Bordeaux when he was just 30 years old. He was a true adventurer, looking to make his fortune, and founded a shipping company in 1725. The first barrels of wine were naturally exported to Ireland, which, along with Holland, was the biggest market for Bordeaux in the early 18th century. Very quickly, his efforts brought an unbelievable level of prosperity. He was the first shipper to have his own wine estates. By 1747, Thomas Barton was considered Bordeaux’s number one shipper. His loyal clients nicknamed him "French Tom".

    His family, his associates and his successors followed his example. In 1802, his grandson, Hugh Barton, teamed up with his friend Daniel Guestier, a French shipowner, to create Barton & Guestier. Both men's children and grandchildren went into the business, until the mid-20th century. Today, a dedicated team and over a hundred distributors continue to develop the Barton & Guestier brand worldwide. Barton & Guestier wines are widely recognized throughout the world as wines of excellent quality and tremendous value. The list of wines has also grown to include a broad range of classics from the greatest wine regions of France.

    Burgundy

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    A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

    Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    CGM41988_1998 Item# 38323