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NV Maison Valette Mâcon Chaintré Vieilles Vignes (Assemblage Millésimes 2018, 2019 et 2021)

Low stock
Original price $129.00 - Original price $129.00
Original price
$129.00 - $129.00
Current price $129.00

Region: Mâconnais, Burgundy, France

Grape: Chardonnay

Culinary Suggestions: Grilled Fish, Seared Scallops, Garlic Prawns, XO Pippies, Soft Cheeses

Vineyard Practice: Organic


For three generations, the Valette family has lived in Chaintré, a small village on the border between Mâconnais and Beaujolais. They grow wine on fifteen acres scattered in five villages - Chardonnay alone. The grandfather moved here from nearby Bresse after World War II, with no money in his pocket, and started his business with leased vineyards (métayage).

The domain was created in 1977, when Gérard Valette was one of the first in the area to leave the local cooperative and start bottling his own wine. After completing wine training, son Philippe joined in 1990 and then decided to convert the family's vineyards to organic farming, using biodynamic methods since 1992. 

The Valette's are known for their specific style, wines raised with thorough lees-contact and without racking. They have remained true to this style of winemaking since the 1950s. It is a sort of family-tradition that requires accuracy as well as painstaking detail knowledge of the indigenous yeasts and the wine’s proneness to develop reductive flavors. Again, an art.

When working their vineyards, the Valettes respect long standing local traditions. In every second row of vines there is dense ground vegetation that protects microorganisms living in the upper soil-layers. It also naturally rivals the vines’ top-soil roots for nutrition. This way, the vines are forced to quickly root into deeper soil layers in order to secure a steady supply of minerals and nutrients.

During the summer months, workers constantly attend the upper layers of the vineyard soil. They use a self-constructed machine that rearranges the top 5 cm without actually plowing the ground. By doing so, a sufficient amount of oxygen is introduced into the soil, without affecting the microorganisms living deeper down.

This procedure is repeated 3 to 4 times a year in all of Domaine Valette’s vineyards. Philippe explains the advantage of this approach by showing that the soil becomes more resistant to erosion. It can compensate much larger volumes of rainfall than conventionally treated soils.

Grapes are harvested during a descending moon at optimum ripeness (I can vouch or that as I ate plenty off the vine!) by hand into 5kg cagettes and taken to the winery where they are whole bunch pressed and fermented using ambient yeast in either tank (Macon-Villages) barrique or demi-muid of various ages. Depending on the origin of the grapes the élevage can be anywhere from 2 years to 6 years and the wines are kept on the fine lees and bottled with just a dab of S02.

Like the top wines of Raveneau or Ganevat, these wines have a level of concentration that gives the wines an extraordinary intensity, levity and persistence, and it also goes some way to protecting them in bottle.

Needless to say, these are very special wines that are cherished for their multi-dimension, refinement and most of all for the pleasurable sensations they provide – they are stimulating to drink! - Importer Note

Tasting Notes

(from 65-year-old vines; bottled a full two and a half years after the harvest; 80% aged in oak and 20% in tank): Since 2015 this wine is vinified without sulfur,

Valette's Mâcon-Chaintré Vieilles Vignes responds well to oxygen—in fact, it's best decanted. I have followed this wine over several days where the fruit fans out and the latent minerality becomes more profound.

You will notice that this is a blend of three vintages - a bit like Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial - the reason for this is that in order to create the harmony, tension and balance they desire in this period of climate change, they have decided to take this approach, the results are quite incredible. 

As always this opens in the glass with aromas of citrus and orchard fruit with a lovely floral lift. The wine is medium to full-bodied and has a powerful presence yet is only moderate in alcohol and has lively acids, superb purity and a long, sapid finish.

This is an excellent release of the Valette's Mâcon-Chaintré that exemplifies the last two decades of reflection and evolution at this estate. This wine will age effortlessly in a good cellar and provide many years of pleasure. - Importer Note