Domaine La Soufrandise

Burgundy, burgundy France

The Melin family have owned Domaine la Soufrandise, which is located in the heart of Fuissé, since the 1850s. When the lease ran out in 1986, Nicolas Melin and his wife Françoise decided to take over the domaine with no previous winemaking or viticulture experience. Nicolas learnt on the job while studying oenology at Dijon on the side. Today Nicolas is the 6th generation of the Melin family to run the estate. His attitude towards biodiversity and meticulous attention to detail, which stem from his background in engineering and forestry, have resulted in a switch to sustainable vineyard management.

The seven hectares of vineyards are spread over 30 different plots across Fuissé, over half of which are more than 45 years old. The different aspects, rootstocks and soils across the vineyards, provide Nicolas with multiple options for blending his flagship Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes. The grapes are harvested by hand at a later than average date to capture the ripe, exotic fruit flavours.

The Pouilly-Fuissé ‘Clos Marie’ is a walled single vineyard, located just next to the cellar. The vines are 31-53 years old and are planted on clay and limestone soils, which lends both power and bright acidity to the wine. The grapes are gently pressed and undergo a slow fermentation with wild yeasts, mainly in stainless steel, with 28% vinified in used French oak barrels. The blend is assembled after 10 months’ ageing on the lees and regular bâtonnage. The result is an expressive and textured wine, with fresh notes of white peach and white flowers complemented by a vein of bright acidity. The Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes is sourced from the oldest and best plots of 42 to 92-year-old vines, including parcels of ‘Les Ménétrières’, ‘Les Perrières’ and ‘Vers Cras’, which were recently granted Premier Cru status. Each parcel is vinified separately, principally in stainless steel, with 30% vinified in French oak barrels, of which 50% are new. Each parcel is then aged on its lees for 10 months before the final blend is assembled. The finished wine is opulent with generous layers of yellow peach and apricot fruit, with nuances of hazelnut, balanced by a poised mineral freshness.

 

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