This tiny domaine is the source of some of the finest, richest and most concentrated wines in Alsace and their Pinot Noir is also one of the very best in the region.
Domaine Bruno Sorg was created in 1965 by Renée and Bruno Sorg in Ingersheim, the village where Renée was born.
In 1972, they bought a house with outbuildings in Eguisheim, the village where Bruno was born, and where the business is located today.
In 2004 François, Bruno’s son, built a temperature controlled winery just outside the village. François says he now has time to think instead of climbing up and down ladders and stairs.
Their decision to follow the principles of sustainable farming for the vineyards enables the coexistence of natural, and sometimes rare, species of fauna and flora alongside the vines.
Low yielding, hand picked fruit and careful vinification in temperature controlled conditions gives an elegant and restrained Pinot Noir. The colour is bright and clear with a nose filled with summer berries, cherries and spicy aromas. The palate is light with a beautifully balanced style – fruit, refreshing acidity and very soft tannins.
Gilles and Nathalie Fèvre met at university where they both qualified as oenologists. Gilles’ great grandfather began growing grapes and making wine in and around the village of Fontenay-Près-Chablis over a hundred years ago.
Today, they own 40 hectares of vines – all planted on Kimmeridgian limestone – throughout the region. The vines are mainly aged between 25 and 35 years although some date back to when Gilles’s greatgrandfather ran the domaine.
Gilles is in charge of viticulture. The finest possible grapes are grown with a fastidious, environmentally conscious approach to quality, lower yields and scrupulous selection. Nathalie oversees winemaking, where small, temperature controlled stainless steel tanks are used to vinify each parcel separately.
The resulting wines are beautiful expressions of classic, fine, concentrated, pure, steely, minerally Chablis.
This first class Domaine is run by the Després family. It is located at the top of the renowned hill of “La Madone”, the granitic hill immediately above the village of Fleurie where most of the Domaine’s 19 hectares of are located. This hillside is often considered to have the best growing conditions for wine in the area.
Arnaud has taken over the work started by his father Jean-Marc, and the quality of recent vintages are testament to his hard work and skill both in the vineyards and the winery.
The Vieille Vignes is from 80 year old vines and has more depth and richness than most Fleurie whilst retaining a lovely elegant lift.
The wine has a very deep purple appearance with a nose full of ripe red fruit aromas – raspberry and strawberry with a hint of spice. The palate is full, with red fruit flavours layered over a warming spice and mineral core – very impressive.
Some years ago, André Dezat bought 4.5 hectares of particularly well-sited vineyard near Tracy, which he has managed to expand a little each year to a total of 15 hectares, with parcels in other communes including St. Andelain and Nozet.
Low yields, great care both in the vineyard and cellars, ensure a great wine with a pedigree second to none. The wine is simply fermented in temperature controlled, stainless steel, capturing all of the freshness, purity and minerality of the grapes.
Pale yellow appearance with a greenish tinge. Lime and gooseberry notes on the nose. This Pouilly Fumé is crisp and delicate, with a good structure and a lovely minerality.
The Vigneau brothers, Christophe and Stéphane, have 30 hectares of Chenin Blanc grown on prime Vouvray vineyards spread over a variety of sites.
They also control the “Clos de Rougemont” vineyard that is part of the historic Abbey of Marmoutier. At its height, the Abbey was one of the grandest churches in Europe and played host to Popes and Kings. However the Abbey and its vineyard fell into disrepair following the French Revolution and the scourge of phylloxera in the 19th century. In the early 1990s, Vigneau-Chevreau was awarded the rights to the vineyard for a 50 year period in return for restoring it to its original condition.
The vineyard was replanted with carefully selected vines from their best vineyards and today the results are there for all to see.
“Clos de Rougemont” has great depth of flavour, and a delicious long dry finish. It is planted on pure limestone soil and vinified in barrel with a tiny proportion of new oak. A really great Vouvray!
The late Jean-Michel Vigneau began the process of converting to organic production in the early 1990’s and in 1999 Vigneau-Chevreau received certification from Ecocert. The current generation have taken the next step by adopting a biodynamic approach which pays close attention to the natural rhythms of the earth and lunar cycles.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau is one of the only two estates in Vouvray to be biodynamic and they own 25% of the appellation’s organic vineyards – 30 ha.
Founded in 1995, Calmel & Joseph is a négociant house specializing in Languedoc-Roussillon wines from private wineries from across the region. Over the years, they have built close personal relationships with a large number of growers from all appellations. Convinced of the extraordinary potential of this region, oenologist, Laurent Calmel, and Jerome Joseph work together on the vinification, blending and ageing of wines with the common purpose of demonstrating the little known, yet unique quality of these Mediterranean terroirs.
60 % Chardonnay, 30 % Chenin Blanc, & 10% Pinot Noir from vines planted to the west of Limoux at 200-300 metres altitude.
The grapes are hand-harvested and transported to the winery in small crates, where they are pressed and processed in temperature-controlled tanks at 15°C. The wine is then carefully blended and bottled before undergoing the secondary fermentation of the méthode traditionelle after which it is left for 15 months to age before disgorgement.
Pale straw in appearance the wine has a lovely mousse with fine, tightly-packed bubbles. Fresh green apple and citrus aromas leads to a palate which is soft and rounded with peachy flavours and refreshing acidity.
Vignerons for 5 generations, Domaine Vessigaud is a small, family-owned property situated in the hamlet of Pouilly, in the heart of the Pouilly-Fuissé appéllation.
The grapes for “Le Haute de Fuissé” are from 15-25 year old Chardonnay vines grown in a 2 hectare vineyard on the higher hillsides of Fuissé – they are characterised by producing wines with good minerality, fine structure and elegance. The soils are a mixture of clay and limestone and the general aspect of the vineyard is south/south west.
The harvest is manual followed by fermentation in a mixture of casks and vats using only natural yeasts. The young wine is allowed to rest on its lees to add depth and complexity before being aged in old oak casks for 10 months.
Pale straw in appearance, the nose has ripe fruit with zesty citrus notes in the background. The palate is round and generous with layered tropical fruit flavours supported by fresh acidity and elegant minerality. The wood flavours are restrained.
Louis and Simon Dezat, who have been running the family domaine (made famous by their father André) for more than twenty years, have now been joined by their respective sons, Arnaud and Firmin. Their wives, Sylvie and Nadine, run a very efficient office.
Firmin studied in Tours and spent several months at Cuvaison Estate in California.
Their 20 hectares are superbly situated around five villages. Low yields and enormous care in the vineyards and cellars make for only the finest Sancerre.
The Sancerre Blanc is fermented and matured in stainless steel and it is outstanding – mouthfilling, steely and packed with gooseberries.
David Moret is a micro-négociant making only white wines in his small cellar in Beaune. He studied oenology, but then went on to sell winemaking supplies before he finally decided to make wines himself.
Moret makes excellent Meursault but his Aligoté is a real stand out wine. Aligoté is Burgundy’s forgotten white grape variety often giving wines that are harsh and lacking any real style. Not so Moret’s “Le Grand A”. Produced from 60 year old vines, it is not your typical Aligoté, extremely concentrated (due to the old vines) and given several months in French oak, a portion new.
Fresh, crisp, zippy and extremely drinkable!
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants