Verget are a relatively fresh face on the wine scene in Burgundy having only been founded in 1990. They make a number of wines from various Burgundian appellations but I wanted to focus on two choices from the Mâconnais. This district is often a by-word for fair but slightly generic chardonnay, with the village appellations being a hit and miss collection of producers in terms of quality.
Verget are keen to change people’s preconceptions about the Mâcon and want to show off their quality and terroir.
Verget Macon Charnay ‘Les Clos St. Pierre’ 2010 £15
This type of appellation is a step up from the basic Mâconnais as it has the name of the village appended to it’s name. This means that the grapes are sourced from a more specific area. This Chardonnay from the village of Charnay has a light bready aroma with sweet pear and grapefruit aromas that pleasantly linger.
It has a balanced level of acidity on the palate and delicious notes of pears, ripe yellow apples, a hint of yellow peach and a note of light toast.
This is certainly an improvement on the more generic Mâcconais wines but the price is a step up too.
A named village is another step up from the wine above, and Pouilly Fuissé is probably the best known one in this part of Burgundy. Verget have done this appellation proud with this delicious wine.
The aromas of peach, grapefruit and spiced pastry reach out of the glass. The flavours don’t disappoint either, with toasted brioche, nectarine, baking spice and ripe peaches that linger on the lengthy finish. This wine has a balance and finesse that makes it worth the extra money.
Girard Petite Sirah (Napa Valley) 2010 $45 (Spec) BC
I tasted this delicious wine at the Vancouver International Wine Festival a month ago, and decided to buy a bottle before I left as I wasn’t sure if it was available outside the special festival wine store. As with any re-visits, whether new friends, wine or house-hunting, one is never sure if that first impression was a true one or not. Those new friends aren’t nearly as fun and charming as you remember; that amazing house you were just about to put an offer on seems to be situated in a not-so-salubrious street, and that wine you had a sip of (after an afternoon of copious tasting) might not be that ‘100 pointer’ you were waxing lyrical about in the wine bar afterwards.
Well, I took advantage of the fairly new ‘Bring your own bottle’ laws in British Columbia, and made use of a gift certificate for a franchise of steak restaurants for my birthday dinner. The service was good, and after the manager checked our bottle (to bring a bottle on their wine list would have been a faux pas punishable by refusal of corkage) we were led to our table where we ordered cocktails. I had to explain to the young server that a classic margharita is served in a cocktail glass without ice, or extraneous exotic fruit, but I was well accommodated, and a decanter was provided for the wine.
Petite Sirah is not a grape I drink much of as a single varietal, but I will happily search more out after my experience with the Girard. (or should I just search out more Girard wines?)
There was an intense nose with cocoa bean, black cherry and blueberry jam, and the palate picked up where the nose left off. Great concentration of fruit without being cloying or flabby and a waft of sweet herbs and cocoa powder on the finish. There was a touch of grip to the tannins, but not enough to detract from my enjoyment, in fact the meat seemed to suit them. This wine had a decently long finish and went well with my sirloin steak. It should keep quite well for 5 years or more, getting spicier with age no doubt!
If it wasn’t for the complimentary ice cream cake for my birthday, I would have been tasting the Girard Petite Sirah all the way home, but I couldn’t resist free pudding!!