2016 Pouilly-Fuissé, Clos des Quarts, Château des Quarts, Burgundy
About this WINE
Chateau des Quarts
Château des Quarts was created in 2012 by old friends Dominique Lafon and Olivier Merlin. Olivier manages the vineyard, and the wine is made at his facility in La Roche Vineuse.
This monopole vineyard of 2.23 hectares in Chaintré is surrounded by a high stone wall, facing east and overlooking the Saône Valley. The oldest parcel of vines in the Clos des Quarts was planted in 1917.
They key to their longevity is the riparia rootstock and an old-school training and pruning regime. From the ’20 vintage, the vineyard has been elevated to Premier Cru status.
Pouilly-Fuissé is the most distinguished wine appellation in the Mâconnais, making rich, full-bodied white Burgundy from Chardonnay in four communes: Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson. There is a move afoot to consider classifying individual vineyard sites.Since arriving in the Mâconnais in 1987, Olivier and Corinne Merlin have become among the region’s most respected producers. After 10 years, they began buying Pouilly-Fuissé grapes, and now make three different cuvées each vintage.
Pouilly-Fuissé should not be confused with Pouilly-Fumé or Pouilly-sur-Loire in the Loire Valley that produce wines from Sauvignon Blanc.
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.
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The 2016 Clos des Quarts has a wonderfully precise, mineral feel to it. There is great power here, but it is restrained, and reminiscent of a fine Grand Cru Chablis, Les Clos. The old vines provide a wonderful nervous intensity and ensure the consistency of this wine, regardless of the vintage’s climatic conditions. Drink 2020-2025.
Adam Bruntlett, Burgundy Buyer
Chateau des Quarts was created in 2012 by two of our favourite vignerons, Dominique Lafon and Olivier Merlin, who are old friends. The vineyard is managed by Olivier Merlin and the wine made in his facility at La Roche Vineuse. This monopole vineyard of 2.23 hectares in Chaintré is surrounded by a high stone wall, facing east, overlooking the Saône valley. In 2017, the oldest vines celebrated their centenary. The key to their longevity is riparia rootstock and an oldschool training and pruning regime. Olivier Merlin chose to harvest the Clos des Quarts vines before his own, on 29th and 30th August, starting each day at dawn and finishing at lunchtime, so as not to pick during the heat of the day. As the note shows, this policy has paid off. Yields were acceptable, but the fine late summer weather has concentrated the juice admirably.
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