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Domaine Marcel Couturier Pouilly-Loche 2014

Chardonnay from Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    A weighty, and incredibly complex Chardonnay. Apples, quince, mushrooms, spice box: the list of aromatic descriptors could go on forever. The structure and density on the palate make this a wine whose evolution you'll want to watch over the next few years.

    Serve with soft cheeses, poached eggs, chantrelles, or quail.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Marcel Couturier

    Domaine Marcel Couturier

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    Domaine Marcel Couturier, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Marcel Couturier comes from a long line of vignerons in the southern Maconnais. Until recently, he had been selling his grapes off to the local coop, all the while preparing to start making his own wine. In 2005, he started bottling some wine under his own label, and slowly but surely he is selling off less and less of grapes and making more of his wine. In 2014 he completed the building of a new winery, which will allow for a large increase in production. In the vineyards, no chemicals are used unless circumstances are exceptionally dire. Marcel is also a big believer in plowing and working his soil, doing it almost obsessively to aerate the soil and manage growth. In the winery, the approach is pretty hands-off. Almost everything is fermented and aged in barrel, with an average of 20% new wood, depending on the year. Fermentation happens slowly, with alcoholic fermentation often not finishing until January and malolactic fermentation sometimes going on through the summer. The wines are bottled right before harvest of the following year.

    Maconnais

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    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.

    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.

    TEWFR9953_2014 Item# 240533