The Bret Brothers, La Soufrandière, Bourgogne

Goode and Ring report on one of the most exciting domaines in the Mâconnais, a region that’s increasingly turning out some smart wines

If you work as a winemaker, you don’t really want to share a name with a wine fault. But despite this, the Bret brothers – Jean-Philippe and Jean-Guillaume – are making some of the most exciting wines in the Mâconnais from their base in Southern Bourgogne’s Vinzelles.

They took the vineyards of Domaine La Soufrandière, which their grandfather had bought in 1947, out of the local cooperative in 2000, and began farming organically. They then moved to biodynamics, and were certified by Demeter in 2006.

Their holdings at the time:

4 Ha of Pouilly-Vinzelles Climat ‘Les Quarts’
0.55 Ha of Pouilly-Vinzelles Climat ‘Les Longeays’
1 Ha of Mâcon-Vinzelles ‘Le Clos de Grand-Père’

The vines are old (youngest = 33), facing East or South-East halfway up or at the top of the slopes. Soils are red clay and Crinoidal limestone.

In 2016 they acquired some more vineyards:

3.5 Ha of Saint-Véran ‘La Bonnode’
0.7 Ha of Pouilly-Fuissé ‘Les Chatenays’
0.5 Ha of Pouilly-Fuissé ‘Les Vigneraies’
0.3 Ha of Bourgogne Aligoté

THE WINES

Domaine La Soufrandière Mâcon-Vinzelles Clos de Grand Père 2016 Bourgogne, France
From deeper soils. Mostly stainless steel. Smooth and fine with lovely texture and fine spicy notes. Rounded pear fruit with richness allied to mineral precision. 92/100 (JG)

Domaine La Soufrandière Mâcon-Vinzelles Clos de Grand Père 2018 Bourgogne, France
From the deep soils at the bottom of the slope, this feels its weight and breadth with more stone fruit, lees, and broken stones ruling the stately palate. Stone dust lingers on the lengthy finish. Very much in youth, and knit with energy to unfurl. 91/100 (TR)

Domaine La Soufrandière Mâcon-Vinzelles 2016 Bourgogne, France
From 40 year old vines at 200m altitude, this parcel is a recent addition to Bret Brothers’ holdings. In 2014 they were able to purchase this 12 acre parcel adjoining their iconic Clos de Grand-Père. Historically, this had been an integral part of the Clos, but was detached during legacies of the early twentieth century. This was the last vintage of the organic / biodyanmically farmed wine solo, before it joined into Clos de Grand-Père for the 2017 vintage. This spent nine months in older oak prior to bottling. Ripe white cherry, pear, is brightened with shining lemon, grapefruit pith along a plump, lees-lined, medium+ bodied palate. 90/100 (TR)

Domaine La Soufrandière Pouilly-Vinzelles 2016 Bourgogne, France
This is more on the slope. Mostly stainless steel. Has lovely spicy, mineral detail. Such finesse with hints of cheese and herbs, and lovely spiciness. Grainy and detailed. 94/100 (JG)

Domaine La Soufrandière Pouilly-Vinzelles ‘Les Quarts’ 2016 Bourgogne, France
40-60 year old vines. This is barrel fermented then spends 6 months in tank. There are some saline, cheesy hints, plus bright citrus and pear fruit. So refined with lovely elegance, and layers of detail. 95/100 (JG)

Domaine La Soufrandière Pouilly-Vinzelles ‘Les Quarts’ 2017 Bourgogne, France
From east facing vines up to 60 years old, this is a powerful, barrel-fermented and aged, lees-bedded wine, intense with smoked quartz notes, salted lemon, and fine grained minerality that lingers on the finish. Very complete. 94/100 (TR)

Domaine La Soufrandière St Véran La Combe Desroches 2017 Bourgogne, France
Mostly stainless steel. Green tea and herb detail. Mineral and finely spiced with lovely precision. Apple and pear richness with a lemony core. Very fine. 94/100 (JG)

Such a wine. Incredibly profound, with broken stones, green apple, lemon, and herbal lees driving the streamline palate. Acidity holds this tautly strung, and vibrating on the very lengthy finish. Great future ahead. 94/100 (TR)

Domaine La Soufrandière Pouilly-Fuissé Au Vignerais 2017 Bourgogne, France
Barrel fermented and then 6 months in tank. Very expressive with lovely mineral, spicy detail to the rich pear, peach and citrus fruit. This has lovely focus and it’s nicely complex and layered. 94/100 (JG)

UK agent: FMV

Wines tasted 06/19
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