The 2016 Mâcon-Pierreclos Juliette et les Vieilles de Chavigne hails from a parcel of vines ("Juliette") that were stunted by the 2003 heatwave and which have always produced tiny yields: the more generous crop of 2016 gave Guffens sufficient volume to fulfill a long-standing ambition to vinify them separately; but the resulting juice was so intensely concentrated that he added some old-vine fruit from Chavigne ("les Vieilles"). The wine is quite extraordinary—and likely to number among the domaine's greatest hits over the years—wafting from the glass with aromas of Anjou pear, ripe citrus fruit, dried white flowers and crushed chalk. On the palate, it's full-bodied, powerful and enveloping, with a broad, expansive and multidimensional attack that's supported by an incredibly incisive, racy line of acids, concluding with an electric, tongue-tingling finish. It's a stunning wine that entirely subverts preconceived appellation hierarchies, and readers should make every effort to secure a few bottles. Drink 2020-2040.
Domaine Guffens-Heynen is one of the great domaines of Burgundy. Ample but incisive, concentrated but weightless, Guffens's wines represent the apotheosis of a grape and a place. To say they are the equal of the wines of Puligny-Montrachet or Meursault would be to do them a disservice, because they're all too frequently better.
From a parcel of vines which were planted in 2003, and which have always produced tiny yields (averaging 20 hL/ha) having been stunted by the extreme heat of that year, the “Juliette et les Vieilles” is composed of grapes which normally go into the Tri de Chavigne. A pure and direct bouquet of lemon zest, lime, preserved lemon, stuck flint and chalky soil tones is followed by a superbly, concentrated, intense and incisive wine, which cuts like a knife, its finish long and precise. Just superb.
The 2016 Mâcon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne Juliette et les Vieilles comes from a small vineyard on very poor stony soils (Juliette) mixed with the older vines from Chavigne, matured in 50% new oak. It has a crisp lime, citrus peel and crushed stone scented nose, the terroir coming through very clearly with hints of yellow flower developing with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a lightly spiced entry, a fine bead of acidity, harmonious and poised with green apples and citrus lemon mixed with ginger on the waxy-textured finish. This is a very involving, cerebral Mâconnais that will merit ageing if you cannot resist it in its youth. Tasted at Farr Vintners Verget/Guffens-Heynan tasting.
Lemon fresh the nose is bright the start of the palate mineral driven. There is mid sweetness apricot and nectarine depth of fruit at the back the finish lighter with flinty mineral freshness. 2018-25
Jean-Marie Guffens writes : "For many years I have wanted to produce a cuvée from the parcel of vines that I call "Juliette". Planted in 2003, so still young vines, but on such a really poor, stony soil that one wonders how the vines can grow - which they struggle to do. Even this year, with a normal harvest, the yield was derisory so I decided to put the small production from my very old vines with it. The blend is therefore called "Juliette et les Vieilles" - The concentration of this wine is so enormous and the acidity so high, that it would have changed the character of the "Tri de Chavigne" cuvée. Total production 275 cases. Pale lemon in the glass, the nose is flinty, taut and tightly-wound at this stage, but there is an underlying power of citrus and stone fruit that is very enticing, layered with subtle spices and buttery brioche. The palate has superb intesity, with a compact, very dense core of fruit framed by the buttery, creamy notes of elevage and subtle smoke. The texture is magnificent, silky and yet fresh - Guffens toying between exuberance and restraint. The finish is very long, with great precision of fruit and exotic spices. Truly superb.