Domaine Emilian Gillet
In the early 20th century, the Thévenet family wines were regularly recognized as the best wines in the region at the annual fair in Macon. This tradition continued with Jean Thévenet, who insisted on maintaining organic vineyards throughout the postwar period, and began the tradition of cellaring the wines for several years before release. Today the domaine is run by Gautier Thévenet, who is intent on maintaining the traditionally slow winemaking that makes their wines unique in the region. The wines of Vire-Clessé are typically broader and substantially more complex than the simple café wines that make up the rest of the Maconnais. The Thévenet family exemplifies this complexity with precision work in the vineyards and their controversial approach of harvesting later than anyone else in the region. The Thévenet vineyards are all the ideal mix of clay and limestone situated on the slopes facing the Saone river near their cellar in Quintaine, halfway between the villages Viré and Clessé which give their name to the appellation. For over a century they stayed true to their family tradition of taking the time make the best wine possible. This means taking the time in the vineyards to grow the best grapes without the addition of any synthetic chemicals, taking the time to let the grapes ripen fully, and then allowing the wine to ferment on its own for as long as needed, often well over a year at low temperature (while most fermentation with commercial yeasts takes only a week or so). Then the wine is allowed to age in the bottle for at least another year before release.
Domaine Emilian Gillet Quintaine (Viré-Clessé)
100% Chardonnay. From old vines (40+ years old) grown organically in Quintaine, on a mix of clay and limestone and harvested at full maturity. Extremely slow (often more than a year) native yeast fermentation at low temperature with no additions in very old oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered and aged another 1-2 years before release.