A Pair of Aces in the Mâcon: Guillot-Broux and Tripoz

9/7/21 -

Few estates gave all of us at CSW greater pleasure last year than the 2018s from Domaine Tripoz. Despite the intense warmth of the vintage, they made wines that felt fresh, racy and expressive, and that easily outstripped their relatively modest price. We were powerless against them and  when I finished my very last bottle of Mâcon-Loché just a few weeks ago, I felt a pang of regret.

So it was with more than a little joy that my colleagues and I received the news that the 2019s were arriving. I have made no bones about the charms of this brilliant vintage in Burgundy—the whites and reds alike are brimming with ripeness and energy. What's more, we have the chance this year to offer them alongside another longtime favorite, Domaine Guillot-Broux. These are two dynamic estates in perhaps the most viticulturally progressive and exciting part of Burgundy today.

Céline and Laurent Tripoz have been producing their own wines since 1990, incorporating organic and biodynamic viticulture into their vineyard practices along the way. Today they are certified biodynamic across the estate, which includes several parcels that they planted themselves that have never been treated with any herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic products. These wines have a nervous quality, almost vibrating.

Guillot-Broux holds a special place in my heart. Years ago, when I lived briefly in Beaune, a friend asked me if I would be willing to take some friends of his out on a day of tasting at some domaines. Unfortunately, it was to be a Sunday and appointments were hard to find. Vigneron Emmanuel Guillot came to the rescue. He was happy to receive us and spent nearly two hours showing us all his wines. My guests loved them, bought bottles and left thrilled.

But even without this experience to color my thoughts, I also love these wines. The farming is among the best anywhere: certified organic since 1991, and Emmanuel's grandfather created the first organic vineyard in Burgundy in 1954. The range of bottlings from around the village of Cruzille is a great lesson in terroir and the wines are invariably precise, individual and delicious.

The Mâcon is a cluster of rolling hills and valleys, very different from the long slope of the Côte d'Or. Each hamlet has a distinct profile, drawn from the different soils and micro-climates. The Tripoz wines are all clustered around the village of Loché, which is distinguished by alluvial soils rich with gravel and loose limestone. The wines are pungent with lemon and tropical notes, salty freshness, and racy texture. The Guillots hang their hats in Cruzille, where the vineyards are dense with marl and limestone. Their wines lean towards stone fruit notes and white flowers and a mineral expression that is more chalky and dense-feeling. They also produce  among the most delightful reds south of Santenay. Cruzille rouges are made with Gamay rather than Pinot Noir and are a great alternative to Beaujolais. 

This is a great opportunity to really delve into Mâcon wines and explore a corner of Burgundy that remains the last great bastion of value in the region, through an outstanding range of bottles that can be drunk now or in 5-10 years. 

-Sam Ehrlich

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