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Superb Natural Wines from Julien Guillot and the Clos des Vignes du Maynes!

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We're proud to announce a new shipment from our good friend Julien Guillot at the Domaine des Vignes du Maynes! These are among the finest natural wines of France, from a family with three generations of experience with organic farming and winemaking without sulfur-dioxide. "The vineyard has never had any chemicals used on it and has always been farmed with the greatest respect for the earth. From the very outset, my grandfather decided to make wine organically, using no chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or sulphur. My father, Alain, later took over the domaine, keeping the same philosophy. I joined the domaine in 1998, which is when I introduced the first biodynamic preparations. I then took over the domaine officially in 2001 and decided to convert the entire vineyard of seven hectares to biodynamic farming." - Julien Guillot.

The Clos du Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille is a sort of alternate universe to modern Burgundy, possessing fabulous terroir and living soils and wines that are vinified naturally with zero or minimal sulfur. The reds here are made with a unique combination of carbonic and traditional fermentations with zero added SO2. While the wines cellar beautifully for ten to twenty years, consuming on the day opened is generally advised. The rare and beautiful 2016 Cuvée Auguste, from old vines of Pinot Fin, is particularly recommended for cellaring, while the 2015 Cuvée Manganite, from 60 year-old vines of Gamay Petits Grains is magnificent now or for shorter-term aging. The whites are made in a Burgundian style, with very long, slow fermentations and long aging on the lees without racking, and usually with a small addition of SO2. Both the 2015 "Les Chassagnes" and 2016 "Aragonite" will provide scintillating enjoyment for current drinking and will cellar beautifully as well.

Wines from outside the Clos in Cruzille are from small parcels in the Mâcon and Beaujolais, vinified with the same techniques. Of particular note in today's email are the lovely 2016 Mâcon-Villages which is a superb white Burgundy for current enjoyment or cellaring for ten to fifteen years; and the 2015 Beaujolais-Leynes "Haut de Balmont," from a small parcel of 90 year-old Gamay vines of various old varieties in Leynes, just south of Pouilly-Fuissé. The parcel is at 1200 ft in altitude with granite soils - it's a rich and very complex Gamay that will drink beautifully over the next five to ten years.

Julien Guillot (Photo: A. Bowman)

Reporting from the vines! It is almost a struggle to keep up with Julien as he darts from one parcel to the next. He's quick-paced and energetic as he explains in broken-english and rapid French, which of his vines will need homeopathic treatments starting at 4am the next day and proudly showing us the 3-year-old selection massale Gouais (a nearly extinct varietal that was a parent of Chardonnay, Melon, Riesling and many others) in his new clos. Brightly colored wild strawberries and exposed limestone break up the lush greenery on the gentle sloping hills. The dark clouds promised more afternoon rain, a pattern that means Julien will be on the lookout for mildew in 2018. Fingers crossed! 

His cellar has expanded and looks something like Wonka's factory with stacked barrels covered in whimiscal chalk doodles that describe the contents. Plus, a few new tanks of fermenting pet-nats and aligoté - new projects which confirm that he can't turn down exciting new projects. But, importantly, he manages to improve upon existing ones. His 2017s are taking shape and already showing beautiful complexity despite the difficult vintage. Bravo Julien!

All wines arrive by Thursday 6/21

David Lillie and Amanda Bowman

  • red
  • 13 in stock
  • $61.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vignes du Maynes 2016 Macon-Cruzille Aragonite

From 40 to 80 year-old massale-selection Chardonnay vines high on the slope in Cruzille on limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica, never treated with chemicals, certified biodynamic. Fermentation is in 600 liter barrels with wild yeasts, aged 10 months sur-lie without racking, no SO2 until a small dosage (10 - 20 mg/l) before bottling. The 2016 "Aragonite" is a superb, well structured white Burgundy that will age beautifully. The wine shows elegant aromas of pear, lemon confit, lime-flower, toasted almond and stone, really lovely. The palate is intensely mineral and framed in firm acidity, with white fruits, citrus, spice and stone flavors. The living soils of the Clos give this wine an extra dimension of acidity and saline minerals that will contribute to a long life for this lovely wine, perhaps best 2025-2035, but it's delicious as a young wine as well. Highly recommended.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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Vignes du Maynes 2016 Bourgogne Cuvée Auguste

The Vignes du Maynes "Cuvée Auguste" is a superb Burgundy made from massale selection Pinot Fin planted in 1964. The parcel, high on the slope in Cruzille, is on Bathonian limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica. Yields of 20 hl/ha, semi-carbonic  and normal alcoholic fermentations, with zero additives, bottled under nitrogen. Yields were quite low in 2016, but as with much of Burgundy, the 2016 Cuvee Auguste is a classic, well structured wine that should age beautifully. The wine shows beautiful aromas of tart cherry, rose, earth, orange peel and spice. The palate is dense and earthy with a core of deep berry fruit, silky and elegant with notes of citrus, licorice and roast meat. The finish is long and sapid with chalky minerals, citrus, spice and berry fruits. This is a gorgeous living wine - decant a few hours if drinking now or cellar five to ten years or more.  A very small quantity is available of this rare and beautiful wine.   David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $42.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vignes du Maynes 2016 Bourgogne Cuvée Auguste 1.5 L

The Vignes du Maynes "Cuvée Auguste" is a superb Burgundy made from massale selection Pinot Fin planted in 1964. The parcel, high on the slope in Cruzille, is on Bathonian limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica. Yields of 20 hl/ha, semi-carbonic  and normal alcoholic fermentations, with zero additives, bottled under nitrogen. Yields were quite low in 2016, but as with much of Burgundy, the 2016 Cuvee Auguste is a classic, well structured wine that should age beautifully. The wine shows beautiful aromas of tart cherry, rose, earth, orange peel and spice. The palate is dense and earthy with a core of deep berry fruit, silky and elegant with notes of citrus, licorice and roast meat. The finish is long and sapid with chalky minerals, citrus, spice and berry fruits. This is a gorgeous living wine - decant a few hours if drinking now or cellar five to ten years or more.  A very small quantity is available of this rare and beautiful wine.   David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $86.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vignes du Maynes 2015 Mâcon-Cruzille Manganite

 Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD, now certified biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation.  The 2015s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and intense with balckberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2015 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended! DL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vignes du Maynes 2015 Mâcon-Cruzille Manganite 1.5 L

Have a sensational "natural" Thanksgiving with this gorgeous zero-sulfur Gamay from the Clos des Vignes du Maynes!  Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD, now certified biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation.  The 2015s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and intense with balckberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2015 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended! DL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vignes du Maynes (Julien Guillot) 2016 Mâcon Rouge Cuvée 910

This special cuvée is a commemoration of eleven hundred years of winemaking, the vineyards in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes having been planted around AD 900 and wine first produced for the Abbey of Cluny around 910. This "medieval" wine is a field blend of Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir, including the old varieties Gamay Petit Grain and Pinot Fin. The grapes were transported in carts pulled by Charolais bulls, then pressed by foot, vinified and aged without sulfur and bottled by hand in the spring. The 2016 Cuvée 910 was a bit awkward on arrival last winter, but has settled down to sing it's light and lovely song. The wine is showing a light red/garnet color. There's a bit of reduction then lovely raspberry and wild strawberry aromas with hints of citrus, spice and rose. The palate shows subtle cherry and raspberry fruit with floral, stone and citrus flavors. The finish is long, sapid and intriguing with bright berry fruits, earth and saline notes - quite lovely and a good match with fish in sauce, white meats, charcuterie, mild cow cheeses. NO added SO2, best consumed the day opened.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Guillot, Julien (Vignes du Maynes) 2015 Bourgogne Blanc En Rimont

Julien Guillot at Vignes du Maynes makes this elegant white Burgundy from an organic parcel on crumbly limestone that has 15% Pinot Gris and 85% Chardonnay. Just delicious in 2015, the "En Rimont" shows aromas of dried pear and apple, almond and stone with hints of spice, citrus and honeysuckle. The palate is quite elegant with earthy white fruits, hay, almond, white pepper and citrus. Quite supple and pure (vinified with minimal SO2) this is a very food-friendly wine that will accompany full-flavored fish and shellfish dishes, chicken and white meats and a wide variety of cheeses. Lovely wine!   David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Guillot, Julien (Vignes du Maynes) 2016 Macon-Villages

Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes, makes this lovely Mâcon-Villages from certified organic parcels - 50% from Viré-Clessé, the rest from Chardonnay and Montbellet, on Bathonian limestone with clay, rich in silica. The 2016 Mâcon-Villages shows a lovely pale gold color, with aromas of pear, almond, grapefruit and green apple. The palate is refreshing and elegant with refreshing acidity and flavors of pear, stone, almond and creamy lemon. The finish is silky and long with ripe white fruits and wet stone flavors. This is a superb white Burgundy and a far cry from the normal negoce Macon wines. This versatile and delicious Chardonnay will accompany almost anything from the sea as well as white meats, Asian foods and mild cheeses.  Julien compares this vintage to 2010, which he opened for us last winter (Jan 2018) The wine was vibrant and delicious with terrific length, showing that cellaring this wine is a great option.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Guillot, Julien (Vignes du Maynes) 2016 Mâcon Rouge

Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes has made a superb Macon Rouge in 2016, from organic grapes, and vinified without SO2. The wine shows a quite dense black/red color with aromas of ripe blackberry, candied cherry, violet, citrus and white pepper. The palate is dense but balanced and sapid with blackberry and cherry fruit lifted by firm acidity. The finish is very long with saline minerals and berry fruits and refreshing acidity. This is a somewhat intense but beautiful and complex Gamay that will be superb with grilled foods this summer and should develop nicely over the next few years.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Guillot, Julien (Vignes du Maynes) 2016 Beaujolais Ultimatum Climat

Known for the Vignes du Maynes wines from Cruzille, in the south of Burgundy, Julien Guillot has had the chance over the years to take long term leases on a few vineyards south of Macon in the Beaujolais. Due to issues with frost and hail in 2016, and to the loss of a rental vineyard to an old owner who decided to tear out vines, this vintage of the "Climat" is a combination of grapes from Chenas and from a vineyard called "Pierres Bleues" which is near Villefranche. Chenas is all granite, and Pierres Bleues is limestone. The wines fermented and aged separately and were blended a few months before bottling. From what I percieve, there's hint of granitic spiciness from Chenas, and some lift and energy from the limestone site.  There's lovely fresh rasberry fruit on the attack, and a very mineral, stony finish. Fresh and elegant at 12.5%.   Eben Lillie 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Guillot, Julien (Vignes du Maynes) 2015 Beaujolais Leynes Haut de Balmont

Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes makes this beautiful Beaujolais from a small parcel of 90 year-old Gamay vines of various old varieties in Leynes, just south of Pouilly-Fuissé. The parcel is at 1200 ft in altitude, with granite soils. From the warm 2015 vintage, the wine shows ripe blackberry aromas with earth, mint, cocoa and game; the palate is dense with supple blackberry fruit framed in firm acidity and strong flavors of earth, citrus and minerals. This is a complex and delicious Gamay that will accompany grilled foods this summer, stews and tagines throughout the year. Cellaring for five to eight years would be interesting. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Guillot, Julien NV Authentique et Veritable Piquette

Authentique et Véritable, this is Julien Guillot's take on a low-alcohol wine that is known as "piquette" in France. It's essentially wine-lite, made from a combination of water and pomace from grapes that have been pressed for wine. The tradition of producing a wine like this goes back to Ancient Greek and Roman times, when this type of wine would be given to farmers and workers to drink during their work day. Though it's a disappearing tradition, old winemakers will still talk about the daily bottle of piquette for the harvesters. It's very low in alcohol, and completely gulpable. Serve cold!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur