Robert-Denogent Pouilly-Fuisse "La Croix" Vieilles Vignes 2018
(Maconnais, Burgundy, France) - [VM 91] [BH 91]
Regular price $70.00 Sale price $59.97 Save $10.03
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When first tasting the wines of Domaine Robert-Denogent, it is essential to put aside any preconceived notions about the young, over-cropped whites of southern Burgundy. These are wines of a much different class, whose reflection of terroir is one more likely found farther north in the prestigious Côte d’Or. Jean-Jacques Robert took over five hectares of his grandfather’s vines in the Mâconnais just outside the village of Fuissé after finishing law school in 1988. Though most of the harvest had always been sold off to the cooperatives, the small parcels that made up the domaine were already understood to enjoy unique microclimates, producing Pouilly-Fuissés of great pedigree. Jean-Jacques soon came under the influence of two ardent defenders of terroir, the great master of Morgon, Marcel Lapierre, and American importer, Kermit Lynch. Little by little, Jean-Jacques has introduced radical changes to the domaine (while staying faithful to his grandfather’s wisdom about the complexity of the land), finally realizing its full potential. He is now joined by his son, Nicolas.
The Roberts’ individual vineyard parcels are planted with old vines (remarkably so!) on varied soils of granite, schist, limestone, clay, and gravel. Naturally reduced yields imbue the grapes with terrific concentration. The wines undergo a long, slow élévage in barrel that lasts anywhere from fifteen to eighteen months. They are bottled after two winters in barrel, a treatment more common (yet still far from the norm) in the Côte d’Or, and something that really sets them apart in the Mâconnais. At a fraction of the price of the appellations of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, to which they are often compared by aficionados and critics alike, the wines of Robert-Denogent offer tremendous value, wonderful richness, and impressive complexity. An added attraction for some—they age sooner than their counterparts to the north.
79 YEAR-OLD VINES!!!
The La Croix vineyard is unique in the Maconnais for its schist soils, a sort of black sheep in an appellation known for clay and limestone. Scorned by other local vignerons, La Croix is one of Nico and Antoine Robert’s most prized parcels; they liken it to certain sites in the Jura more than to any other Burgundian terroir. And indeed, the ripe Chardonnay fruit is decisively lean and wiry, finishing on a crunchy note of salted butterscotch you might associate with whites from the likes of Ganevat or Rousset-Martin. The brothers raised this 2018 for three years in a combination of vessels including used barrels, concrete tanks, and amphorae, capturing the best of all worlds.
All grapes are harvested by hand
• Grapes pressed gently by pneumatic press
• Natural fermentation with indigenous yeasts
• Wines complete malolactic fermenation
• Pouilly-Vinzelles Les Longeays is aged for 22 months in barrel, 40% new
• Wines are aged for 18 to 30 months in the same barrels (20% new, 50% two passages, 30% more than two passages)
• Wines are racked 3 to 4 weeks before bottling
Ratings & Reviews
91 Points - Vinous Media:
"The palate is fresh and vibrant on the nose with touches of dried honey, hazelnut and smoke, building nicely with a very slight Thai fish oil note on the finish. Very fine. (Drink between 2022-2032)" - NM (Nov 2021)
91 Points - Burghound:
"Nose of white flowers and notably ripe apricot, peach and pineapple scents. The succulent, powerful and overtly mineral-driven medium weight flavors possess excellent intensity and a lovely texture while displaying fine length on the bitter lemon-inflected finale. This isn't my style but particular though it may be, it's impressive all the same."