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Excellence and consistency truly go hand in hand at Gilles Noblet’s prized domaine. In two decades of tasting Noblet’s wines, we have never tasted anything less than classic, elegant Mâcon-Fuissé and Pouilly-Fuissé from Gilles Noblet. And Domaine Gilles Noblet’s 2011 Mâcon-Fuissé continues that tradition of excellence. It bears a bright sun splashed robe that recalls the rows of golden clusters of Chardonnay grapes that mature gently and slowly under the Mâconnais sun. What's more, the 2011 Domaine Gilles Noblet Mâcon-Fuissé offers the same elegant, savory scents as Noblet’s Pouilly-Fuissé, namely a fresh bouquet reminiscent of acacia flowers, apple blossoms, and minerals. On the palate, the 2011 Domaine Gilles Noblet Mâcon-Fuissé follows through with gentle fruit, pinpoint minerality, and laser like precision that provides eminent drinkability. All this adds up to an elegant, nuanced, refreshing glass of Chardonnay that will please even the most ardent critics of over-blown, over-oaked Chardonnays. And like Pouilly-Fuissé, the 2011 Domaine Gilles Noblet Mâcon-Fuissé is best served moderately chilled (40° F), and then allowed to evolve slowly in the glass to reveal all of its subtle charms. Salut!
The 2011 Domaine Gilles Noblet Mâcon-Fuissé is an easy wine to drink, on its own or with food. It pairs naturally with food because it provides understated elegance to complement a wide variety of dishes, especially those made with fish and all kinds of seafood. Scallop and crab dishes constitute some of our favorite offerings with Gilles Noblet’s wines. Scallops, sautéed in a light cream sauce with pistachio nuts, are a perennial favorite. A simple crab cocktail or dip offers another memorable pairing to Gilles Noblet’s elegant 2011 Mâcon-Fuissé. Flounder, stuffed with crabmeat, makes a wonderful partner, too. In addition, baked or grilled grouper, sole, sea bass, and trout offer other fine choices with this wine. And for those not beholden to the sea for sustenance, flavorful chicken salads; light pastas; and healthy organic greens, served with shredded carrot, dried cranberries and goat cheese present other excellent pairings with Noblet’s seductive Mâcon-Fuissé. Yet, Noblet’s refreshing, easy to drink Mâcon-Fuissé makes for a great start to a party or relaxing evening, as it doubles as an aperitif extraordinaire. Short of French Champagne, it’s hard to imagine a finer aperitif than this elegant Mâcon offering. For a little extra pleasure, serve the Noblet Mâcon-Fuissé with thin slices of Pink Lady apples and a creamy cow’s milk cheese such as Havarti. What more could one want? Enjoy!
Gilles Noblet of Domaine de la Collonge continues to fashion some of the Mâcon’s (the area of southern Burgundy that is known for its elegant Chardonnay wines) finest and most enjoyable white wines from several renowned appellations. Noblet’s domaine (known both as Domaine Gilles Noblet and Domaine de la Collonge) is a small family owned and run estate of only 22 acres. Gilles is the fourth generation member of his family to make wine at this prized property. For the record, Gilles’ wife, also, comes from a traditional winemaking family. Madame Noblet is the sister of Jacky Janodet of Domaine des Fine Graves in nearby Moulin-à-Vent, so wine and winemaking run deep in the heart and soul of this couple as well as in the terroir of Noblet’s well-tended vineyards.
The name Domaine de la Collonge derives from the sector or area (known as an aire) of the Fuissé commune that is called Collonge. Most of Gilles Noblet’s estate is spread along the hills of la Collonge, which yield on average only a little more than six thousand cases of Pouilly-Fuissé each year and smaller quantities of exceptional Mâcon-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché, and St. Véran – all elegant Mâcon wines from 100% Chardonnay vines.
Although not certified organic, Gilles Noblet practices sustainable agriculture and uses non-interventionist methods in the production of his wines. No artificial fertilizers or insecticides are employed, and only natural yeast is used in fermentation. Moreover, the average age of the vines at Noblet’s domaine averages more than forty years, while many vines are considerably older. Noblet’s old vines and reduced yields result in wines that are more generous and concentrated than the average Mâconnais white.
In appellations that traditionally turn out large quantities of wine, Gilles Noblet decided a long time ago to dance to a different beat. Rather, the Noblet style of Chardonnay is one of elegance, purity, and the honest expression of each appellation’s terroir. Noblet’s Mâcon-Fuissé and Pouilly-Fuissé feature a real balance between flesh and bone, fruit and minerality, if you will. In addition, Noblet uses traditional wooden em>foudres (large wooden tanks) with temperature control elements for fermentation to ensure texture and a gentle roundness in his wine. He also ages his wine in a combination of foudres and small oak barriques, only 20% or less are new each year. The limited use of new oak is practiced expressly, so that the oak barrels impart roundness and texture to the wine, rather than the overwhelming taste of oak that destroys the natural delicacy of Mâcon-Fuissé and its siblings. In essence, the wines of Domaine Gilles Noblet are classic white Burgundies as well as some of the most compelling wines of the Mâconnais.
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