2018 Domaine Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Quintaine

Year: 2018
Appellation: Maconnais
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 93
Burghound: 88
Wine Enthusiast: 90
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.1%
Price :
$34.95

"The 2018 Viré-Clessé Quintaine is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with a lovely bouquet of honeyed citrus fruit, fresh pastry and orange blossom. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and supple, it's elegantly textural and refined, with a fragrant core of fruit and a long, penetrating finish. Even though it will reward a bit of bottle age, it's slightly finer-boned than the more concentrated, muscular 2017, so I would opt to drink this immensely charming wine before its older sibling.

As I've written before, this seven-hectare estate in the hamlet of Quintaine is one of the best producers in the Mâconnais and deserves to be much better known. Pierrette Guillemot's father was one of the founders of the Viré-Clessé cooperative, but she and her husband, Marc, elected to quit in 1985, converting first to organic and then, in 1991, to biodynamic farming. In 2013, their daughter Sophie joined the team, followed by her husband, Gautier Roussille (author, inter alia, of an impressive guide to Sake). All of the domaine's holdings are planted with massal selections of Chardonnay, with the oldest vines dating back to 1918. Like their neighbors, the Thevenets, the Guillemots harvest ripe grapes, fermenting and maturing the wines on the lees at their own pace. Botrytis, a relatively common occurrence due to Quintaine's humid mesoclimate, is embraced. These are honeyed, concentrated wines that are imbued with remarkable concentration and energy and develop beautifully in the cellar. Their strong personality is a world away from the insipid and ephemeral whites that shape many consumers' perceptions of the region, but that is precisely why they merit attention. Anyone visiting the domaine can't fail to be struck by the meticulousness that the Guillemot family bring to all their endeavors-whether it's their vegetable garden, their immaculately restored farmhouse-winery or their wines. But of course, it isn't necessary to visit-you can taste the results in the glass." (WA)

"The cool, pure and pretty nose is comprised by notes of essence of white orchard fruit with a suggestion of honeysuckle. The succulent, round and nicely concentrated flavors display a clean, dry and persistent finish where the only nit is that one wishes for a bit more depth. Still, this is delicious and refreshing and should drink well early for its youthful fruit." (BH)

"A chalky hint of rounded lemon is shy on the nose of this wine. However, the palate is awake with juicy yellow apple and rich melon edged with ripe lemon freshness. The texture is smooth and the body mellow. Bright fruit highlights the chalky finish. -Anne Krebiehl MW " (WE)

Winery Notes:
As I wrote last year, this seven-hectare estate in the hamlet of Quintaine is one of the best producers in the Mâconnais and deserves to be much better known. Pierrette Guillemot's father was one of the founders of the Viré-Clessé cooperative, but she and Marc elected to quit in 1985, converting first to organic and then, in 1991, to biodynamic farming. In 2013, their daughter Sophie joined the team, followed by her brother Gautier. All the domaine's holdings are planted with massal selections of Chardonnay, with the oldest vines dating back to 1918. Like their neighbors the Thevenets, the Guillemots harvest ripe grapes, fermenting and maturing the wines on the lees at their own pace. Botrytis, a relatively common occurrence due to Quintaine's humid mesoclimate, is embraced. These are honeyed, concentrated wines that are imbued with remarkable concentration and energy and develop beautifully in the cellar; their strong personality is a world away from the insipid and ephemeral whites that shape many consumers' perceptions of the region, but that is precisely why they merit attention. Anyone visiting the domaine can't fail to be struck by the meticulousness that the Guillemot family bring to all their endeavors-whether it's their vegetable garden, their immaculately restored farmhouse-winery, or their wines. But of course, it isn't necessary to visit-you can taste the results in the glass.

Beautifully expressive, with yellow fruits, orange blossom, smoke & flint. Thick and saline on entry, then seriously deep in the mid-palate, with suggestions of exotic fruits perfectly countered by strong minerality. This wine strikes a perfect balance between sweet and salty elements, and it shows vibrant acidity. It boasts a thickness that few other northern Mâconnais can match.