Macon- Villages by Pierrette and Marc Guillemot-Michel
On taking over the vineyard Marc and Pierrette left the Cave Co-operative system.Organic methods of production were used for the first three years as they believed this system made finer, more characterful wines. They use no artificial herbicides or pesticides and produce their own compost for the vines from a blend of marc (the cake of skins and pips left after the grapes are pressed) and manure from organically reared animals.
During the harvest, they systematically taste their way through the vineyards, tagging those vines whose fruit they think have markedly interesting characteristics and concentration. In February cuttings from these are taken to graft onto root stock and, gradually, the vineyards will be replanted with these homegrown, especially selected vines.
Limiting the size of the crop is one of the most important factors in the production of exceptional wines in the Maconnais. To restrict quantities, Marc and Pierrette only leave one main stalk when pruning, rather than two as is traditional. This automatically cuts their potential crop in half.
Since 1991 the Guillemots have been bio-dynamic producers. Bio-dynamic production is basically governed by the movements of the moon. For example, weeding at certain times in the cycle of the moon results in the weeds reappearing less quickly, an important factor when herbicides are not used. Bio-dynamics also involves putting back into the plant part of its production, hence the production of a compost from the marc of grape skins and pips left after pressing.
By far the major proportion of the Guillemots' production is of Macon Clesse, Quintaine. This lovely dry white wine has concentrated fruit and complexity and a richness and depth rarely found in this region. They have experimented with using oak, but feel that even five year old barrels give too much wood flavour to the wine. They prefer to allow the purity of the Chardonnay fruit to shine through.
The current vintage is 2009 ,however I always try to stash a few bottles of the older vintages away when I notice the vintage is changing and they truly show their full character when about five years old. Even in relative youth it is a very fine Burgundy at €23.
Delicious, serious, attention grabbing wines.... in a contemplative kind of a way..... a bit like the people who make it I suspect!.