Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau Pouilly-Fuisse Madrigal 2016
The winemakers at Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau believe in minimal intervention, which includes the use of only indigenous yeast, as the best way to express the nuances of each unique terroir. Aging is done in mostly large, used French oak, harvest is done completely by hand on a plot by plot basis, allowing each vine to achieve the appropriate balance of sugar and acidity before being picked.
Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau is a small estate run by two talented farmers and winemakers, Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon (winemaker at Héritiers du Comte Lafon). Frantz has a degree in oenology and cut his teeth working for Olivier Merlin in the Mâconnais. Caroline holds two degrees in agricultural engineering and oenology; she also worked at Newton Vineyards in Napa Valley.
The vineyard work is arguably among the finest we have seen, with organic farming and many vineyards worked by horse. Frantz and Caroline believe that minimal intervention, including the use of indigenous yeast, is the best way to express the nuances of each unique terroir. Harvest is done completely by hand on a plot by plot basis, allowing each vine to achieve the appropriate balance of sugar and acidity. The wines are mostly aged in large, used French oak. This is a lineup of pure, terroir driven Mâconnais wines.
The source of some of the most sought-after white wines of the Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé is produced exclusively from the Chardonnay grape and tends to be slightly richer in style than wines from its northern neighbor, the Côte de Beaune—mainly due to warmer weather. Wines from Pouilly-Fuissé have some versatility; they can be enjoyed young and can also often improve with a little time in the cellar. Pouilly-Fuissé wines are considered some of the best values for white Burgundy.
Similar to the Côte de Beaune, the soils of Pouilly-Fuissé are mainly limestone and clay. The appellation includes the communes of Fuissé, Solutré (which includes Pouilly), Vergisson and Chaintré. The richest Chardonnay comes from Fuissé and Solutré-Pouilly, whereas the Chardonnay at higher elevation, from Vergisson, expresses more minerality and finesse. 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 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.