2022 Verget Vin de France Blanc Tinus Chardonnay Plateau de l'Aigle
- Producer: Maison Verget
- Varietal: Chardonnay
- Region: Chablis
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- Net volume: 750ml
- Vintage: 2022
- Cellar until 2026
Style GuideLight Intense
Guffens believes he can craft prestige, ageworthy Chardonnays from the south. Aware of the natural richness and density gifted by his terroir, Jean-Marie chooses to vinify only the purest, naturally tense free-run juices.
This ‘Grand Cru’ Luberon white is drawn from a single plot of Chardonnay on Tourette’s l’Aigle terroir, a limestone plateau at 400 metres where the Chardonnay grapes stand out for their intensity and freshness. From here, Guffens believes he can craft prestige, ageworthy Chardonnays from the south. Aware of the natural richness and density gifted by his terroir, Jean-Marie chooses to vinify only the purest, naturally tense free-run juices. Then he favours short aging in barrels (25% new) for eight months before marrying the wines in concrete vats, only on fine lees, for about three more months.
Château des Tourettes
Jean-Marie Guffens is not one for twiddling his thumbs. Leaving Flanders in 1976, Guffens first established his iconic Mâconnais estate, Domaine Guffens-Heynen, in 1979. Maison Verget, the bespoke negoce operation, followed soon after. With both properties well established, Guffens turned his gaze south.
In the late 1990s, Jean-Marie Guffens and Maine Heynen began searching for a perfect doer-upper in the hills of southern France. Guffens had long felt the producers of this area were guilty of underselling the potential of their terroir. He believed that, as he had done in Mâcon, he could make a statement regarding the kind of quality that could be accomplished. In 1997, the couple found their perfect property a few kilometres from the beautiful Roman market town of Apt, in the foothills of the stunning Luberon mountain chain. One of the key selling points was a terroir rich in limestone and, at 420 metres it was high above sea level, so the vines would benefit from cool nights, and therefore slower maturation and flavour development. The other selling points according to Guffens—the scenery and the climate!
Guffens immediately set about revitalising the estate’s dilapidated facilities and run-down vineyards, which had been damaged by years of chemical treatments. Tourettes’ 14 hectares under vine were replanted with massale selections, including Chardonnay and Cabernet vines, meaning his wines would be excluded from the Côtes du Luberon appellation (no skin off Guffens’s nose). Then the cellar was fitted out with his modified vertical press, concrete tanks and barrels from Verget, creating a boutique Burgundian-style cellar in Provence.
For many years Guffens has released an ever-evolving, deliciously motley collection of red and white bottlings from the Tourettes estate. According to Jean-Marie’s whims, many wines could easily not have the same label two years in a row. Even we have found it hard to follow at times, but Guffens has now shifted focus to a more streamlined range, including a premium tier called Tinus, named after his grandfather, Martinus. In short, it marks a new era for Château des Tourettes.
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