2020 Verget Au Fil du Temps VdF Rouge
- RRP $419.88
- Save 20%
- Producer: Maison Verget
- Varietal: Grenache Blend
- Region: Chablis
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- Net volume: 750ml
- Vintage: 2020
Style GuideLight Intense
Au fil du temps is an expression literally meaning ‘along the thread of time’ and commonly translated ‘as time goes by’. Jean-Marie Guffens felt he could produce—from a palette of vintages—an inexpensive 'bistro' red that would taste greater than the sum of its parts. And here you go! Composed of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache from Côtes du Luberon aged in the solera style, it’s a fragrant, supple, super juicy and gluggable provençal red packed with dark cherry, earth, garrigue, tapenade and subtle truffle notes. The mouthfeel is juicy and tender with loads of character, pure flavours and lovely freshness. Crafted with low sulphur, you might find a prickle of gas (natural CO2) that Guffens uses to preserve fruit aromas. Most importantly, it finishes cool and bright (it comes in below 13.5% alcohol). It’s a quirky, lip-smacking and superbly priced Guffens ‘creation’.
Jean-Marie Guffens should need no introduction. After all, this outspoken, iconoclastic grower and his piercingly bright, limpid wines—both under his Guffens-Heynen and Verget (micro-négoce) labels—have been in our white Burgundy portfolio since day one.
In his watershed book The New France (Mitchell Beazley, 2002), Andrew Jefford describes the Verget style in the following way: “Don't buy Verget wines looking for the kind of cheese paste, farm straw richness of traditional “funky” white Burgundy; these are white wines made with the kind of ravishing purity, compelling sensual austerity more familiar among the greatest winemakers of the Saar, the Ruwer, or Alsace.” That pretty much sums things up.
For those new to the Verget style, winemaker Jean-Marie Guffens perhaps summed it up best when he told us: “I am Flemish, I love purity.”
Guffens believes that lees stirring and reduction are embellishments used in white Burgundy to disguise shortcomings (much as dosage and lees aging are used in Champagne). He, therefore, avoids reduction while also bottling under screwcap. He wants you to taste the fruit in all its purity.
Although, as the French would say, this is a grower who cannot keep his tongue in his pocket, Guffens’ longstanding reputation as the enfant terrible of Burgundy has softened somewhat over the years. We cannot say whether or not this is due to the arrival of the quietly spoken Julian Desplans, now Verget’s chief winemaker of five years. What is clear is that Guffens’ fastidious lieutenant— whose CV includes a stint at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti—has instilled an impressive measure of articulate consistency across the entire Verget portfolio.
It's important to point out that while Verget’s grapes are négoce, the estate works only with low yields, and it is Guffens’ team that conducts the harvest, discarding any substandard material. Then, in the cellar, Desplans works almost exclusively with free-run juices. Ferments are natural and occur in Verget’s large horizontal stainless-steel tanks that offer the same lees to wine ratio as oak barrels. Here, the lees can be worked delicately with nitrogen without introducing any oxygen into the vessel. Guffens and Desplans want you to taste the fruit in all its purity.
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