These weeks leading into the holidays have us thinking about the affordable and refreshing wines that work so well with the great variety and abundance of food on the table during gatherings of friends and family.
Jean-Jacques Robert is one of the few winemakers in the Mâconnais held in the same esteem as those to the north in Burgundy’s famous Côte de Beaune. In 1988, Jean-Jacques took over 12 acres of his grandfather’s vines just outside the village of Fuissé. Influenced by Marcel Lapierre, one of the great producers in Morgon, Jean-Jacques soon began to work his vineyards and cellars with the philosophy that the wines should reflect the place that they come from. He achieves this through organic viticulture practices and minimal intervention in the cellar.
The domaine now covers almost 25 acres of remarkably old vines across more than 30 parcels in the appellations of Mâcon-Fuissé, Mâcon-Solutré, Pouilly-Fuissé, Saint-Véran, and Beaujolais-Villages. In 2007, Jean-Jacques elder son, Nicolas, joined the domaine after studying viticulture and working in the field internationally. 2013 saw his other son, Antoine, begin work at the domaine after a stint with Nicolas Potel in the Côte de Beaune.
All prices based on the purchase of a 6-pack (mix-and-match)
~$28 Domaine Robert-Denogent “Cuvée Jules Chauvet” (Beaujolais-Villages 2015)
“Cuvée Jules Chauvet” is made from a three acre parcel of Gamay vines in a 15 acre vineyard that was owned by the late Jules Chauvet – a legend for his pioneering work with organic viticulture in Beaujolais and his leadership in the French natural wine movement. The wine is made with rigorous sorting in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the cellar and then aged for 16 months in seven-year-old barrels. The aromatics are all strawberries and cinnamon, the telltale of a semi-carbonic maceration process that keeps the wine light and lively. A sip is fresh and bursting with berry fruit, a downright pleasure to drink.
~$31 Domaine Robert-Denogent Mâcon-Villages (2015)
Mâcon-Villages is 100% Chardonnay blended from different vineyards and parcels with clay and limestone soils. The grapes are harvested by hand, pressed gently by pneumatic press, and fermented naturally with indigenous yeasts. Mineral notes precede aromatics of citrus and honey. On the palate the wine is rich and opulent with a mix of orchard and exotic fruits, a touch of brine, and a lengthy finish.