2018 Burgundy En Primeur: Domaine J.A. Ferret, Pouilly-Fuissé

 

 

A visit to Domaine J. A. Ferret in the village of Fuissé last year re-kindled our love of Pouilly-Fuissé.  The great pleasure in these wines is in their rich, velvety texture, quite distinct from other regions but which is uniquely Burgundian. 

Ferret is a historic domaine and were pioneers in producing single vineyard wines which express the enormous variety of terroirs across Pouilly-Fuissé.  Their 2019s are intense and opulent but with fresh citrus acidity and complex, underlying minerality.  

This part of Burgundy sees warmer summers than the Côte-d'Or and the influence of sunshine is evident (particularly when tasting the wines on a damp Tuesday morning in January).   

 

The 2018 domaine wine, resting in tank.

 

Tasting on the same day as us in London, Jancis Robinson, remarks that the wines are "reminiscent of the old New World barrel-fermented Chardonnays" (of which she is generally a fan).  This is not the kind of overblown, butterscotch and tropical fruit character which used to be found, for instance, in Napa Chardonnay.  The palette of aromas and flavours is still very much in the range of green orchard fruits, citrus and white stone fruits like peach, but all with wonderful intensity.

With such ripeness, the skill comes in retaining acidity and freshness.  2019 was particularly challenging for its reduction in yields, but as elsewhere, the lack of rain meant that the total acidity in the grapes was not diluted:

"(2019) gave us very good raw materials though not much of them!...the dehydrating effects of the intense summer heat, yields were only around 35 hl/ha...I was shocked to see that the average bunch weight was between 50 and 52 grams, which is obviously far less than the roughly 100 grams per bunch we typically obtain."

The wines have a delicious citrus energy.  Jancis finds a "streak of lime fruit" in "Les Perrières", whilst burgundy expert Allen Meadows describes the wines as "racy, yet opulent" with discreet and nuanced oak influence. 

 

Winemaker Audrey Braccini, in charge since 2008, continuing a long tradition of women in charge at the domaine.

 

At just over £36 on your table, the "Clos des Prouges" and "Les Perrières" are great value when compared to Côte-d'Or wines with similar weight on concentration.  "Les Perrières" has just been awarded premier cru status (although this will not appear on labels until the 2020 vintage).  

Also soon to be rated premier cru, "Les Ménétrières" is described by Meadows as "succulent, rich and impressively scaled".  We would hard-pressed to think of another white burgundy which offers such a combination of power and elegance. 

Ferret also offer their wines in half bottles, magnums and jeroboams, for a small surcharge, please let us know if this is of interest.

Offered en primeur, stock landing in the UK early summer 2021.

 

Ferret's tiny 0.69ha 'Le Clos' Monopole vineyard, in the heart of the village of Fuissé next to the village church.

View of offer of the 2018 wines from Domaine J.A Ferret below.

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Prices are ex-VAT per case of 12 bottles, unless otherwise advised.  DP = duty-paid ex-London.  IB = under bond ex-London.

White 2019 Domaine J.A. Ferret - Pouilly-Fuissé "Clos de Prouges" Tete de Cru 75cl £170 per case of 6 IB
From a 2 hectare clos in the heart of Fuissé on soft limestone and marl soils. ... Read more
From a 2 hectare clos in the heart of Fuissé on soft limestone and marl soils. Most of the vines were planted in 1956. Fermented and aged for 10 months in 20% new oak, with a further 8 months in tank. Rich and showing lots of very ripe fruit concentration, as well as new oak and hazelnut aromas. A glycerin texture on the palate, more (well-integrated) new oak, lots of fresh character to the fruit and a really delightful saline streak on the finish with excellent length. RKL "Very rich and opulent on the nose. Rather like old-fashioned barrel-fermented Chardonnay with a little spiciness. Great stuff so long as you like the style. A little tension on the end and no hurry to drink. 2020 - 2025. 16.5 points." Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com Nov 2020 "An attractively fresh and bright nose is comprised by a variety of white fleshed fruit, orange peel and a more discreet floral hint. The lush and overtly opulent medium-bodied plus flavors are shaped by citrus-tinged acidity on the clean and dry finale. As is usually the case with this wine, it’s a big and powerful though not especially refined PF. 89-92 points." Allen Meadows, Burghound, Dec 2020 Close
White 2019 Domaine J.A. Ferret - Pouilly-Fuissé "Les Ménétrières" Hors Classe 75cl £220 per case of 6 IB
Les Ménétrières is a vineyard of just 0.8 hectares on the edge of Fuissé, with r... Read more
Les Ménétrières is a vineyard of just 0.8 hectares on the edge of Fuissé, with rich "Dogger Bank" limestone marl deposits running through it, producing the richest of the domaine's wines. Cask sample not yet tasted. RKL "Discreet though still easily perceptible wood frames the vaguely exotic aromas of white peach, passion fruit and acacia. The succulent, rich and impressively scaled full-bodied flavors coat the palate with dry extract on the very citrusy finish. This is powerful yet elegant. 90-92 points." Allen Meadows, Burghound, Dec 2020 Close
White 2019 Domaine J.A. Ferret - Pouilly-Fuissé "Les Perrieres" Tete de Cru 75cl £195 per case of 6 IB
Les Perrières is just 1.15 hectares in size, located on the amphitheatre of vine... Read more
Les Perrières is just 1.15 hectares in size, located on the amphitheatre of vines which overlooks Fuissé. Vines planted in 1972-74. 20% new oak. Les Clos on a steep slope, with a dominant limestone subsoil. The Impressive minerality on the nose, less overt fruit than Clos des Prouges at first but the concentration becomes apparent on the palate, reminds me of Meursault from the 90s with its broad-shouldered richness and balancing minerality. RKL A bit more reticent on the nose than the Clos des Prouges. Rich start and then a streak of lime fruit. More finesse than the Prouges but it deserves a bit more time.2021 - 2026 16.5 + points." Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com Nov 2020 "An overtly floral nose features plenty of green apple and citrus components where the latter element is also very much present on the elegant and pure middle weight flavors that exude a bracing salinity on the bone dry and lingering finale where the only nit is a touch of warmth. Lovely. 90-92 points." Allen Meadows, Burghound, Dec 2020 Close

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