Vire-Clesse 'Harmonie' Domaine de la Verpaille
ORGANIC / VEGAN / LOW SULPHITE
From a ‘cru’ area of the Maconnais (since 1998), made solely from Chardonnay, in the driest style, though with the incredibly intense fruit on offer, you wouldn’t think so! Brilliant gold in colour with flavours of peach, pineapple and quince and with upfront aromas of honeysuckle, may flowers and broom.
Currently owned and run by Baptiste and Estelle Philippe, the estate is situated within the ‘cru’ of Viré-Clessé. Their prime focus is to allow its wines to express the authentic character of the individual vineyards. “Our philosophy is to look for balance and biodiversity in our soils in order to get the finest grapes”. In 2006 Baptiste and Estelle decided to convert their vineyard to organic cultivation (completed in in 2009). The vineyards, in which many of the vines are over a hundred years old, are maintained by both ploughing and controlled natural grass cover. Only a limited use of sulphur and copper is necessary for treatments since the organic cultivation approach has helped to restore the vines’ natural defences.
In the cellar, the aim is to be as sensitive to the grapes’ natural flavour and personality by being as low-interventionist as possible. Hand picked grapes, harvested at optimum maturity in order to ensure both concentration and aromatic intensity, are pressed very gently. Long, cool fermentations in stainless steel tanks, using indigenous yeasts, take three to six months to complete. The wines maintain their freshness and are nourished by extended ageing on fine lees until bottling, often as much as a further six months later.
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