Jean-Claude Boisset was radically transformed with the arrival in 2002 of viniculteur Grégory Patriat, one of the best viticulturalists/winemakers of his generation in Burgundy. Grégory had spent the previous three years working in the vineyards at Domaine Leroy and still spends a great deal of his time in the vineyards, paying his growers by the hectare in order to ensure low yields. He also prefers to work with organic growers, as he finds they produce better fruit. Unlike other Burgundian négociants, Grégory specialises in making wines from 'lieu-dits' or tiny plots of vines, something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines.
This wine is from Igé, one of the Mâconnais' top villages. Château London is the specific vineyard or 'lieu-dit' of the grapes. Vine age is approximately 20 years and the yield is 7,000 vines per hectare. The vines are Guyot trained to a height of 1.3 metres, to ensure enough light exposure for photosynthesis. Soils are stony and clay, with a high proportion of chalk. The grape is a clone of Chardonnay, Chardonnay-Muscaté, which gives the typical structure, poise and freshness of Chardonnay together the aromatic expression of Muscat.
Burgundy was struck by damaging hailstorms and frost meaning that yields were down across the entire region. However, what remains is good quality in a classic style, with good balance between acid, alcohol, body and fruit concentration. The 2016 vintage is fresh, lively and well balanced.
The grapes were harvested manually into 20kg crates, then whole bunch pressed for 2.5 hours, before the juice was transferred to oak vats. Indigenous yeasts were used for a long fermentation without racking or lees stirring. The wine was then aged in 30% new French oak barrels for eight months without being racked. The barrels used are toasted at low temperatures to impart a subtle, delicate flavour to the wine. The wine was bottled by gravity in August 2017, fined with bentonite and very lightly filtered.
This Chardonnay has golden nuances in the glass. There is a nice complexity on the nose with aromas of ripe yellow fruits, citrus and white rose. This wine is clean and fresh on the palate with good acidity. The finish is long and lively.