About this WINE
Dom. de la Soufrandiere, Bret Bros
Domaine de la Soufrandière is the wine estate of the Bret Brothers, Jean-Philippe and Jean-Guillaume, whose grandfather bought the domaine in 1947.
In 2000 the new generation took the vineyards back from the local co-operative and started producing their own Pouilly Vinzelles wine, mostly from the superb single vineyard of Les Quarts. In 2006 a Macon Vinzelles was added to the range, known as Clos de Grand-Père as it came from their other grandfather, on their mother’s side. The wines have been certified as organic and biodynamic since 2006
Pouilly-Vinzelles is a small appellation in the Mâconnais region of Burgundy, situated next to the famous Pouilly-Fuissé appellation, and the Pouilly-Loché area, which is often regarded as a sub-region of Pouilly-Vinzelles itself.
As with Pouilly-Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles shares the name with the famous town of Pouilly, and as such the two appellations benefit from the association with the established name of Pouilly-Fuissé. Pouilly-Vinzelles concerns itself entirely with the production of white wine from Chardonnay, resulting in a very typical but high-quality Burgundian white, with notes of fruit and slight minerality, much like the whites of its immediate neighbours.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
2010 Pouilly-Vinzelles “Les Quarts”: (from vines between 40 and 65 years of age). While there are floral notes here as well, the nose is more centrally driven by a variety of citrus characters, especially lemon but also lime and grapefruit. The pure, intense and very rich middle weight flavors are also intensely stony and this is like rolling rocks around in your mouth on the ultra-racy, energetic, explosive and bone dry finish. This stunning effort is certainly finer than the straight Pouilly-Vinzelles but not necessarily any more complex.
Brothers Jean-Guillaume and Jean-Philippe Bret told me that 2010 was a “painful vintage simply because the losses from hail that fell on the 12th of July were devastating. We lost fully 50% of the crop in white and 100% of it in red. In our gamay vines, and the damage to the wood was sufficient that it may very well have an impact on the 2011 crop as well.
2010 produced very concentrated wines and are largely classic in style though the northern part of the Mâconnais saw a lot of noble rot which of course imparts an exotic character to the wines.”
(Allen Meadows, burghound.com - Nov 2011)