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Domaine Auvigue Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2012
Brothers Jean-Pierre and Michel Auvigue run Vins Auvigue from the village of Charnay-les-Macon. They are the fifth generation of winemakers who started out in Beaujolais, their grandfather one of the first to commence domaine-bottling in the region during the 1940s. They only use organic products in the vineyards that are predominantly based around Solutre. Leaf thinning is usually eschewed and there is prudent use of oak in the winery.
The source of some of the richest and most sought-after Chardonnays of the Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé represents a land of opportunity both for local growers and producers farther north in the Côte d’Or. Its soils are quite the same as farther north (limestone) but its weather is a bit warmer and land prices lower.
The appellation is restricted to the Chardonnay grape and includes the communes of Fuissé, Solutré (which includes Pouilly), Vergisson and Chaintré (see also mâcon villages). The richest Chardonnay comes from Fuissé and Solutré-Pouilly, whereas the Chardonnay at higher elevation from Vergisson expresses more minerality and finesse.
Tradition has the wines age one year in barrel before release and while maybe not offering the elegance of Beaune Chardonnay as a whole, they still age well and offer some of the very best values of the region. Pairing Pouilly-Fuissé with lobster or King Crab will bring great joy not only to your palate—but also your pocketbook!
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.
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.
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.