Jean-Marie Guffens is the maverick master-vigneron of the Mâconnais. The self-proclaimed “crazy Belgian” moved to Burgundy with his wife Maine Heynen in 1976, enrolled in a wine school and purchased Mâcon-Pierreclos, a vineyard that no one wanted because it was too steep.
By 1982, he had begun to establish a name when his wines were reviewed by Robert Parker, who wrote that Guffens “makes Mâcon as good as Puligny-Montrachet and Pouilly-Fuissé as good as the Grand Crus from the Côte d'Or.” Jean-Marie’s riposte to Parker? I make wines that are not as good, but better.
In the early 90s, Guffens co-founded Verget – a micro-negociant sourcing fruit from farmers who share his pragmatic, traditionalist approach in some of the most prestigious terroirs in Burgundy. Consistently delicious and full of vibrancy, these wines are contenders for some of the best value in France.
So when we tasted through a collector's cellar of mature white Burgundy – one of the true joys of wine drinking – Jean-Marie’s bottles stood out. Textural, but fresh and bright, and still surprisingly youthful, they were utterly delicious and an opportunity too good to miss.
Verget Saint-Véran Terroirs de Davayé 2004 (£25) Sold out
Davayé’s Les Clos, Les Pommards and Chatigny vineyards – 15% new oak. Verget’s signature purity of fruit is supported by a touch of oak and crystalline minerality. Still so fresh and delicious. Bottled under Nomacorc.
Verget Pouilly-Fuissé Terroirs de Vergisson 2005 (£35) Sold out
Vergisson’s Les Crays and Les Vignes Dessus vineyards – 25% new oak. Blended from some of Pouilly’s best climats, this has a lovely bright nose and a super-fresh, vibrant palate. Silky and generous. Bottled under screwcap.
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