White, Ready, but will improve

2016 Mâcon La Roche Vineuse, Olivier Merlin

2016 Mâcon La Roche Vineuse, Olivier Merlin

White | Ready, but will improve | Olivier Merlin | Code:  48356 | 2016 | France > Burgundy > The Maconnais | Chardonnay | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol


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Bottle 12 x 75cl 130cs

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The Producer

Olivier Merlin

Olivier Merlin

Olivier Merlin (originally from the Charolais) is widely regarded as being one of the very finest wine makers in the Mâconnais. He and his wife Corinne (a Montbéliarde) began in 1987 by renting 4.5ha. from René Gaillard, of Domaine du Vieux St Sorlin, who wished to retire. Since then he has been buying the property in stages as well as adding new vineyards such as St Véran (in 1994 & 1996). In September 1997 Olivier took out a negociants' licence in order to be able to make some Pouilly Fuissé, since land in this appellation is neither available to buy nor to rent.

He makes three cuvées of Pouilly-Fuissé (one each from Fuissé, Vergisson and Chaintré) and a Viré-Clessé. From 2000 some Moulin-à-Vent joined the stable. The single-vineyard wines, including Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse Les Cras and St Véran Le Grand Bussière, get 18 months barrel-ageing with 30-50 per cent new wood. The latest big project has been the purchase of a steep slope above the village, En Montessu, and its clearance and replanting after being left fallow for five years with cover crops to help the land recuperate. Olivier has old photographs showing this whole slope covered in vineyard in earlier times.

He has established a reputation as one of the region’s most dynamic growers, a reference point for the Maconnais.The whites demonstrate Olivier's exceptional winemaking talents from lowly appellations. They are frequently taken for Côte d'Or wines if tasted blind. His Bourgogne Rouge is at its best after 2 to 3 years when the fruit expresses itself fully.

Jasper Morris MW, author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

The Grape



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.

The Region

The Maconnais

The Maconnais

The Mâconnais is currently perhaps Burgundy’s most dynamic region. In the past only Pouilly-Fuissé – source of rich and ripe white wines – stood out from the crowd, but not only are such satellite appellations as Pouilly-Vinzelles and the newly-created (ie in 1998) Viré-Clessé coming alive, but a new generation of growers are also now producing some excellent Mâcon Villages.

These wines used to be cheap and simple, rarely lasting more than a year or two after the vintage, but now one or two growers in each village are making proper, oak-aged, complex and reasonably-concentrated wines which will develop well in bottle.

  • 53 hectares of AC Mâcon (70 percent white)
  • 406 hectares of AC Mâcon Superieur (75 percent red).
  • 1,840 hectares of AC Mâcon Villages. Best individual villages include La Roche Vineuse, Lugny, Milly-Lamartine, Chardonnay, Uchizy.
  • 291 hectares of AC St Véran. Recommended producers include Domaine des Deux Roches, Olivier Merlin.
  • 47 hectares of AC Pouilly Vinzelles and 31 hectares of AC Pouilly Loché. Recommended producers include Bret Bros, Domaine de la Soufrandiere.
  • 211 hectares of AC Viré Clessé. Recommended producers include Bret Bros, Domaine Ste Barbe,
  • 764 hectares of AC Pouilly Fuissé. Recommended producers include Ch de Fuisse, Ch des Rontets, Bret Bros, Olivier Merlin, Cordier.
  • Recommended Restaurant : La Table de Chaintré (Chaintré)

En Primeur Details
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