Highlights: Clos des Rocs, Mâconnais, Bourgogne, France

Located in the south of the Mâconnais, Fuissé’s Saint-Philibert estate belonged to a family of winegrowers for seven generations before Olivier Giroux bought it in 2002. He gave it the name Clos des Rocs, and converted the entire estate (10 hectares of vineyards) to organics. The estate, consisting of almost a single plot on an east facing hill, extends over vineyards in the Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Fuissé appellations, with vines averaging 60 years in age. Giroux owns approximately 30% of Pouilly Loché’s vineyards, which gives you an idea how tiny the appellation is.

Clos des Rocs Mâcon-Loché en Charpaux 2018, AOP Mâcon-Loché, France
Classic Mâcon as soon as you sniff this golden yellow wine, with the hallmarks of Bourgogne (French cream, light gentle lemon, fine, driving acidity), with the clues of Mâcon (a bit fuzzier around the edges, with a gently plump core). Yellow fruits lead, almond patisserie and lemon verbena kisses the core, while a solid stony mineral aspect that lingers. Drinking well now, but can certainly cellar short term. 91/100

Clos des Rocs Pouilly Loché Les Mures 2018, AOP Pouilly-Loché, France
This comes from a 1 hectare plot of 40 year old vines on limestone laden gravels. This was native fermented in stainless, where it remained for 11 months on lees. Fresh lemon, tight white florals, crunchy pear lead into a creamy, lees-decked palate, brightened with lemon peel and pith, and riding a base of crushed stones to a grippy, saline finish. Lovely authenticity and typicity of place here. Very much in youth, and drinking deliciously, but will certainly age smartly over the next couple of years. 91/100

Clos des Rocs Monopole 2018, AOP Pouilly-Loché, France
This comes off a 3 hectare, east-facing plot of 70 year old vines rooted in limestone clay, with iron rich topsoils and littered with limestone pebbles. This was native fermented in neutral 500L French barrels (60%) and stainless tanks, where it remained on lees for 11 months prior to bottling without fining. Tight and nimble with lemon pith, lime pith, and green apple driving this long, finessed wine along the slender palate. The base is shimmering minerality, finishing with ample salinity and a shining lemon brightness. Stunning now, but with the energy to age smartly. 93/100

Clos de Rocs Pouilly Loché En Chantone 2018, AOP Pouilly-Loché, France
En Chantone comes from a .65 hectare plot of organically farmed 90 year old vines, on iron-rich clays and limestone. This was native fermented and aged in neutral 500L puncheons, where it remained for 11 months on lees before bottling, unfined. This is intense with minerality, shimmering with limestone vibrancy, and amply seasoned and structured via the neutral barrels. Deep lemon and chalk rule, riveted with alluring reduction, with crisp apple and Anjou pear playing a supporting role. The whole flows along a river of lees to a lingering, saline, flinty finish. Quite complex, and complete, and a lovely expression of place. 93/100

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Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]