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Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre 2019

ID No: 447459
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 Wine Enthusiast: 91
Country:France
Regions:Burgundy
Maconnais
Winery:Guillemot-Michel
Grape Type:Chardonnay
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2019
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

This cuvée is produced from grapes planted in the "Champ-Rond" vineyard and vinified in 800-liter amphoras.


The wine displays the estate's typical exotic fruit aromas and ripe citrus fruits with an extra dimension of expression due to the amphora's breathing. Ample and generous in the mouth with fine acidity and fantastic purity.

The wine is aged in 800-liter amphoras.The small grapes ripen beautifully without a high degree of alcohol - they are picked on the last day of the harvest, and the aging in amphora gives the wine a great purity.


The vines are grafted on "Riparia Gloire de Montpellier" - an old root-stock that was obtained in 1880 - producing very low yields with magnificent small grapes of a deep gold color.

The small grapes ripen beautifully without a high degree of alcohol - they are picked on the last day of the harvest, and the aging in amphora gives the wine a great purity.
The wine is aged in 800-liter amphoras.
Review:

"A lifted sense of white currant fights through on the shy nose of this wine. The rounder palate evokes juicy yellow plum and white peach. A sense of citrus pith adds real texture while lemony depths become apparent with more time on the palate. This is unusual but the wine has vivid juiciness and its own sense of depth. - ANNE KREBIEHL MW" - Wine Enthusiast (December 2020), 91 pts

Winery: Guillemot-Michel

The Domaine Guillemot-Michel Estate
Pierrette and Marc Guillemot took over the Domaine from Pierrette's parents in 1985. Pierrette and Marc are both oenolgists from the school of Beaune and post-graduates from Montpellier.  They have applied their studies and have married both scientific and homeopathic principles in their winemaking. The Domaine is located in the commune of Quintaine, adjacent to the village of Clesse, South of Burgundy. Quintaine is recognized as producing some of the finest wines of the Mâconnais, having a special microclimate caused by the close proximity of the Saone river.  The winery became biodynamic in 1991. They produce around 3,000 cases yearly and export 85% of the production (UK, USA, Belgium, Swizerland, Germany, Japan, etc)

"A tiny biodynamic estate making highly individual wines; the grapes are picked ripe, resulting in high alcohol levels and viscous textures; residual sugar not uncommon here."
- Anthony Dias Blue's pocket guide to wine 2006

The Domaine Guillemot-Michel Vineyard 
This 7-hectare (17.3 acres) vineyard on a clay and limestone based soil has been cultivated through biodynamic and organic methods since 1991 (the Biodynamic method regards the earth as a living organism and strives to renew the soil in order to produce food that is full of vitality and deeply nourishing. Biodynamics notes the interrelationship of all kingdoms - mineral, plant, animal and human - and their intricate correspondence to the rhythms and activities of the larger cosmos). That means they work in harmony with the cycle of the vines and the soil. They don't use any chemicals and prefer mineral and vegetal treatments. They work the soil using manual and mechanical methods but they treat the vines only manually.
The wine is 100% Chardonnay and goes through 100% Malolactic fermentation with no use of oak. The vines average 45 years of age with a typical yield of only 2.5 tons per acre. Marc and Pierrette are constantly experimenting, searching for new ideas, willing to take on board both traditional and modern methods.

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"The 2018 Viré-Clessé Quintaine is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with a lovely bouquet of honeyed citrus fruit, fresh pastry and orange blossom. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and supple, it's elegantly textural and refined, with a fragrant core of fruit and a long, penetrating finish. Even though it will reward a bit of bottle age, it's slightly finer-boned than the more concentrated, muscular 2017, so I would opt to drink this immensely charming wine before its older sibling. – William Kelley"

- The Wine Advocate (Issue 249, June 30th 2020), 93 pts

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Guillemot-Michel Vire Clesse is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

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"The 2018 Viré-Clessé Quintaine is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with a lovely bouquet of honeyed citrus fruit, fresh pastry and orange blossom. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and supple, it's elegantly textural and refined, with a fragrant core of fruit and a long, penetrating finish. Even though it will reward a bit of bottle age, it's slightly finer-boned than the more concentrated, muscular 2017, so I would opt to drink this immensely charming wine before its older sibling. – William Kelley"

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Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay grapes were crushed, destemmed and then pressed using a membrane press. Pressings were not used. Fermented using French Yeast at 12-15 degrees Celcius. The ferment was kept slow and cool to retain all the natural flavors of the grape. The wine was then racked and filtered. Bottling took place soon afterwards so the wine was a true expression of the grape and the terroir from which it was made.


The color is a rich vibrant green. The nose shows lifted clean, sweet fruit of apricot and peach. The palate is medium to full bodied and exhibits predominantly peach and nectarine flavors, with cloves and cardamom evident from the use of a small amount of French oak. The wine finishes full and long with a nice balance of sweet fruit and creaminess.

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz 2019

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Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz is made from 100% Shiraz. 


Striking deep red-purple in color. A rich, voluptuous wine with aromas of blackcurrant and mulberries accompanied by notes of smokey oak and hints of cloves. The palate is filled with dark fruits and chocolate backed up by taut tannins and lingering oak.

Review:

"Destemmed, pressed approximately 7 days later, 14 months in American oak (40% new). Rich, layered, mocha/chocolate overtones to the black berry fruits are obvious."
-  Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 92 pts

Story:

When the Clarke forebearers discovered gold in 1870 at the Lady Alice mine in the Barossa goldfields, so began a family dynasty intrigued by geology. A fine legacy that is reflected today in the terroir of our vineyards. The Shotfire range immortalizes the Shotfirer's hazardous job of setting and lighting the charges in the mines.


Fran shares his story on how he discovered Thorn-Clarke:
     "It was October 2001 and I was searching for and sourcing for Australian wines, as it was clear that Australia was going to become the "next big thing." After tasting about 100 assorted wines, I decided I liked the style of Barossa, Shiraz best - chocolate, cherries, mint and eucalyptus - so I started focusing on Barossa growers (years later, Barossa Shiraz would develop its reputation as the Icon Shiraz for Australia).
     Late on a Thursday afternoon, the carrier delivered a beat-up box of 12 bottles from Australia, 10 of which were leaking. The box was from a guy named Steve Machin, who had just left Hardy's and was beginning work with the Clarke family on setting up a possible new brand. The samples were sticky and messy, but I popped the corks anyway ..... and I was glad that I did. The wine inside tasted like Christmas - mint, eucalyptus, camphor, and evergreen aromas. Great acidity, color, flavor and length of finish - very tasty. These samples were so good and so exciting, especially compared to what I had tasted prior, that I immediately called the number on the card. I didn't realize that it was a Perth number (Western Australia) and it was actually 3:00 in the morning. It turned out I was calling the residence of David and Cheryl Clarke, where a sleepy Cheryl answered the phone. I told her, you don't know who I am, but we are going to be doing business together very soon, and lots of it! After a few months of talking, faxing (yes, faxing) and sorting out the details, I began importing their wines.
     That super-star wine from the busted box of samples is the wine we know today as Shotfire Shiraz. It was originally called Stone Jar, but fortunately we came up with a better name. Many years and vintages later, I'm still glad to be importing Shotfire Shiraz and other Thorn-Clarke selections .... and I'm still glad that Cheryl Clarke woke up for that phone call."



Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas 2017

Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec

Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.

Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).

Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.

Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.

Review:

"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts

"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 91
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