Roger Lassarat Saint Veran Le Cras Vieilles Vignes Cuvee Unique 1999
The vineyard has south-western exposure, steep slope, clay and limestone soil, predominately limestone. Vines approximately 50 to 55 years old; limited yields. Sixty percent aged and vinified in new oak, 40% in regulated thermo tanks for 10 months. Blending and bottled without filtering.
Roger Lassarat comes from a long line of vignerons - in 1969, he founded his own domaine with seven acres of vineyards in Pouilly- Fuisse and Saint-Veran, France. Son Pierre-Henri joined his father in 2010 and the domaine has grown to 40 acres, which are farmed in a sustainable manner. Synthetic fertilizers are eschewed in favor of using organic materials (manure or compost) -thus creating and maintaining microbial life. Tilling is also employed, which helps to aerate the soils and forces the roots to develop deep root systems.
Vineyards are planted on chalky hillsides and some of the vines are 100 years old. Following harvest, the grapes are gently pressed and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with full malolactic fermentation. The wines are then aged sur lie in barrel with minimal bâttonage and bottled unfiltered, by gravity. These wines for me are textural but lively-not in the overly oakey styles one can find in appellations like Pouilly Fuiise-rounder with medium med + body with precision.
Occupying vineyards to the west and south of the village of Mâcon, the appellation of St-Véran interweaves with Pouilly-Fuissé, overlapping both the Mâconnais and Beaujolais. St-Véran includes a lot of what was once sold as Beaujolais Blanc. Grown on limestone, St-Véran whites' ageability and power fall somewhere in between the wines of Mâcon-Villages and Pouilly-Fuissé.
After subtle aromas of lemon, apricot, acacia and honeysuckle, on the palate a St-Véran (always made of Chardonnay) shows fresh focus and clarity while exhibiting roundness and harmonious balance. A great St-Véran will express notes of almond, hazelnut, cinnamon, butter or toast and sometimes an exotic twist of orange peel. Seafood risotto or pasta with mushrooms are perfect pairings.
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.