Localization: Mâconnais, Burgundy, France
Tasting Notes: The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and silky with raspberry/strawberry fruit, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere.
94 Points - Wine Advocate: “The 2018 Mâcon-Cruzille Manganite is terrific, soaring from the glass with complex scents of orange rind, peonies, Indian spices, red berries and cherries, complemented by subtle carnal nuances and hints of loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and sapid, it’s deep and concentrated, with racy acids, exquisitely powdery tannins and a long, penetrating finish. From old selections of Gamay planted in 1953, this is an extraordinary wine that shows what the reds of the Mâconnais are capable of. Drink: 2020-2035."
Notes: Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD (!), now certified biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation.
The Domain: One visit to Clos des Vignes du Maynes in southern Burgundy’s Mâconnais is all it takes to experience thousands of years of viticultural history. With remnants of an old roman wall on the property, an 1100-year-old winemaking heritage dating back to the powerful medieval monks of Cluny, and nothing but selection massale to replant the vineyards (no clones), the Guillot family has every reason to believe that they are the oldest organically farmed winery in France. Julien Guillot is the contemporary steward of this land, worked by his family since 1954. That his grandfather was never seduced by the seemingly magical powers of chemical herbicides and pesticides at the height of their post-war popularity has allowed the clos to be continuously run by nature’s good graces, abundant soil nutrients, and an ancient savoir-faire passed down through generations of dutiful guardians.
Julien takes his role quite seriously. In 1998, he took the farming practices one step deeper into biodynamic viticulture, a much stricter approach to the science of organic farming that is thought to have been originally established by the Romans and perfected by the monks of Cluny. He is such an enthusiastic student of history that in 2009 and 2010, he reenacted a medieval harvest and the transportation of the barrels by oxcart to Cluny 9 months later. But as Julien notes, in those times, wines had an alcohol level of only 8%, which is one factor that led him to become interested in climate change.
With a legacy like Clos des Vignes du Maynes, in an area of burgundy known for mass-produced, industrial wines, it’s easy to understand why Julien is such an advocate for tradition. the grapes are harvested by hand and fermented in old oak foudres. The fruit undergoes partial whole-cluster fermentation, without any additional sulfur or foreign yeast cultures, and Julien leaves the finished wines unfined and unfiltered to showcase the layers of fruit. With a few cuvees of crémant de bourgogne, a bourgogne rouge, a chénas, and several cuvees of mâcon-cruzille rouge and blanc, the line-up at clos des vignes du maynes goes deep and wide, offering a complex gustatory exploration of this special property and its uniquely preserved terroir.