Gilles Noblet at Domaine de la Collonge continues to fashion some of the Mâcon’s finest and most enjoyable white wines from old vines in Pouilly-Fuissé and several other surrounding Burgundy appellations. Noblet’s Domaine de la Collonge is a small family owned and run domain of only 22 acres. Gilles is the fourth generation member of his family to make wine at this prized property, where sustainable agriculture and non-interventionist practices prevail. No artificial fertilizers or insecticides are employed, and only natural yeast is used in fermentation. Moreover, the average age of the vines for Domaine de la Collonge averages more than forty years, while many vines are considerably older. Noblet’s old vines and reduced yields result in white wines that are both generous and concentrated.
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. However, Monsieur Noblet also fashions tiny quantities of exceptional St. Véran, Macon-Fuissé, and Pouilly-Loché – the other prized appellations in the Mâcon’s tiara.
Pouilly-Fuissé is the premier appellation of southern Burgundy as well as one of Burgundy’s finest white wines. Pouilly-Fuissé is ideally located in the heart of the Mâconnais region and is renowned for its massif limestone bluffs and chalky alkaline soil, which provide the ideal terroir for Chardonnay. This appellation comprises just four villages that stretch out over a series of steep hills, just to the north of the ten greatest villages of Beaujolais. All the wine of this renowned commune is white, emanating exclusively from Chardonnay vines.
In Pouilly-Fuissé, the tradition is to give fully ripened Chardonnay grapes a gentle press, so that the resulting wine expresses the ultimate quality of the grape and the soil, instead of sculpturing the wine with the extensive use of new oak. Consequently, most Pouilly-Fuissé wines still see little or no new oak barrel aging, so as not to obscure the delicacy, elegance, and subtle charm for which the wines of this prized commune are justly famous.
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