“The fabulous 2017 Pouilly-Fuissé La Croix Vieilles Vignes wafts from the glass with aromas of yellow orchard fruit, warm bread, vanilla pod, citrus zest and spices. Full-bodied, satiny and layered, it’s deep and concentrated, with lively acids and long, saline finish. It’s produced from blue schist soils.
Nicolas and Antoine Denogent preside over this 10-hectare Fuissé domaine; and in a village that’s more often than not decidedly conventional, these wines break the mould. “We can’t make wine any other way,” jokes Antoine, “perhaps we’re stupid?” Organic farming in the vineyards and hand harvesting are followed in the winery by long press cycles of some four to five hours. Barreled down in old fûts or small cement tanks after minimal débourbage (and without the addition of enzymes), fermentations typically last the better part of a year and élevage a minimum of two winters. Topping up occurs two to four times per year, lending the wines an oxidative patina; but some 12 liters of lees at the bottom of the barrel compensates, to some extent, in reductive potential. The result is complex, textural, intensely sapid wines. Without reaching the same extremes as the wines of the Valette family, these are certainly Mâconnais wines that will appeal to those who appreciate, for example, the Champagnes of Selosse or the Chablis of Thomas Pico. And as my tasting notes record, I found plenty to admire myself.”-94+WA