Apologies for the very brief intro to the wines tonight – things are very busy here at Society Towers and I’m about to shoot off to the Savoie ski slopes. But hopefully the wines will speak for themselves!
Domaine Cordier, Mâcon Aux Bois d’Allier 2017
It sounds a little like an expensive barrel, but Bois d’Allier is a vineyard, near Charnay. Low yields here explain the uncommon depth of flavour for a white Burgundy of this price. It was matured in large oak casks, or foudres, for about a year to allow its flavours to develop without oak aromas.
Christophe Cordier, son of Roger, is a piercingly blue-eyed human dynamo who exudes enthusiasm and industry. He believes in low yields and late harvesting, achieved with poor soils and severe pruning and it’s evident in his recognisable house style - concentrated, full and rich but upheld by wonderful acidity, beautifully balanced and always punching above the weight of the appellation (Saint-Véran en Faux being a notable example).
Combining the domaine and its negociant arm, Christophe Cordier presides over 30-odd hectares over a number of village appellations in the greater Mâconnais, including Pouilly-Fuissé. An impressively high-tech winery includes a gravity bottling facility and a raft of high-quality large French oak casks which are coopered off-site but toasted under Christophe’s supervision. A new cellar built in the village of Fuissé completed for the 2012 harvest has been fitted out with more large foudres for fermenting and storing wine, as well as more space for 500, 350 and 228 litre barrels which will allow Christophe to extend the ageing of wines like Mâcon Milly, a wine from a cool spot that benefits from extra time in wood on its lees to develop and open out the flavours and aromas.
Viognier Grès du Trias, Coteaux de l’Ardèche, Vignerons Ardéchois 2018
This is a lovely, deeply expressive viognier grown on sandstone soils in the southern Ardèche. Fragrant and full-bodied, it would be perfect with crayfish or a chicken korma.
Vignerons Ardéchois (translated/paraphrased from their website)
Les Vignerons Ardéchois, pioneers since 1967.
Producers & growers, we’re a collective of 12 wine producers in the southern Ardèche who combined forces in 1967.
Across 6000 hectares of vines, spread over a mosaic of terroirs, our 1000 families of grape growers work the vines with passion, respecting man and nature. An invisible, insatiable work that stems from know-how of generations presiding over the same land. Methodical pruning in the rigours of winter, seeding grass between the vines to encourage live in the soil, green harvests to limit the yields so that each berry can fulfil its potential, then comes the detailed blend, parcel by parcel.