Daniel & Julien Barraud Macon-Fuisse 2017
"Daniel Barraud is without question one of the finest growers in all of the Mâconnais and there is a credible argument to be made that his remarkable consistency vaults him right to the very top of the list … this man almost never misses." --Alan Meadows, Burghound
Domaine Daniel et Julien Barraud is not only the source of Vergisson’s finest organic wines but also sets the standard for world-class white Burgundy from the Maconnais. The petit hamlet of Vergisson, with its high-altitude vineyards, is where the region’s finest wines are made.
The history of the Barraud family began in 1905. Jean-Marie Barraud, a sharecropper, installed himself in the village of Vergisson, in the Maconnais. He saved his earnings until in 1912, he was able to purchase vineyard land, the first parcels of the future Domaine Barraud.
Toward the end of the 1930s, the estate's second generation was bottling their own wines on the property, with the first wine from the legendary 'Les Crays' vineyard appearing in 1947.
In the 1970s, wines from the Maconnais were slowly being discovered by the wider world, both for their high quality and serious value when compared to white Burgundy from the Cote d'Or.
Winemaker Daniel Barraud -- the family's fourth generation -- and his wife Martine today are widely held as one of the top winemaking families in the region. Their son, Julien, began working at the domaine in 2006.
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.