Grapes: Pinot Noir
Region: Macon, France
Vinification: Semi-carbonic ferm
Aging: 15 months in barrel
Fining or Filtering: None
Sulfur: None added
Notes from the Importer: The ancient Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Southern Burgundy, presently steered by Julien Guillot, was among the first domaines we represented when Percy opened in 2012. A decade ago, the wines were not easy to sell. In Burgundy, Julien was regarded as a heretical, cow-horn-burying agro-terrorist. In the States, Vignes du Maynes was so far ahead of the natural wine boom that the wines were sui generis and difficult to comprehend. They nonetheless opened doors to some of my longest lasting friendships in the wine business. Drinking Julien’s Cuvée 910 still conjures up fond memories of apéros on the dock of the old Dogpatch warehouse, of lunches with the late Jonathan Waters of Chez Panisse, and of overnight trips to LA to see Jill.
A decade later, Vignes du Maynes is regarded by many of our clients as buttoned-up and classical, an amusing turn of perspective that shows both how the world has changed and how Julien has not. Digging back through our notes and write-ups from over the years, I found this passage from my old comrade Griffin Snyder, which still rings true:
“For me, what gives this Domaine staying power is that it is self-referential. Natural winemaking may bring some producers fleeting popularity, but for Julien Guillot it communicates a deep and personal sense of practice and responsibility. Here, attention is paid not only to the life of the vine in a given place, but how life at large has been sustained over the course of 1,100 years ‐ a conception of winemaking that is centered on stewardship, not mere maintenance. That said, what keeps these wines fresh is not nostalgia for the past, but rather a dialectical form of practice that engages with the past on the terms of the present and the future.”
Named for Julien’s grandfather, and his eldest son, Pinot Fin is thought to be a progenitor of what we now know as Pinot Noir. Delicate and detailed.