Like many of our growers, Jérôme Guichard is a quiet, humble and hard working guy who spends the vast majority of his life out amongst the vines. In 2011 after several years of apprenticeship, he bought an old farmhouse and just under 3 hectares of old Chardonnay vineyards in the commune of Montbellet in the Mâconnais from a man of similar principles, natural wine legend Guy Blanchard.
Both the farmhouse and vineyard had been in Monsieur Blanchard’s family for generations, with the vines having been tended the only way the family knew how, organically, since 1917. In this less storied part of Burgundy, mixed agriculture is practiced, ensuring great biodiversity. Despite already having a name for making some of the best wines in the region, until 1998 Guy’s main concern was looking after a herd of goats.
The beautifully remote vineyards are surrounded by forest and planted over that classic Burgundian mix of clay and limestone, the proportion of which varies between the crus. Jérôme’s continues the work of his mentor, with a focus on helping the vines stay healthy naturally, through the use of herbal plants and organic teas. Likewise in the cellar, wines rest sur lie until ready and are bottled unfiltered, with no additions at all, including so2. The result is Chardonnay unlike any we have tried, with a liveliness and spectrum of aromatics we rarely associate with the grape.
Recently, Jérôme has acquired a little over a hectare of Gamay vineyards where the Mâconnais meets Beaujolais in Leynes. Planted in 1946, the vines sit amongst the woods at the foot of a volcanic mountain and possess a palpable sense of energy from it’s black volcanic soils. We felt an instant connection with Jérôme and his wines and are very happy to have them in London. We have just received the following wines.
Domaine Sauveterre, Pet’ Nat 2014
From Jérôme’s youngest Chardonnay vines, this is one of the most impressive petillant wines we have tried in a long time. The wine spends 10 months sur lattes before disgorgement and offers fine bubbles, wonderful refreshment and most importantly for Jérôme, is bone dry.
Domaine Sauveterre, Bouchat 2014
Chardonnay from vines around 40 years old, Bouchat is a vineyard with a little more clay and sand than his others around Montbellet, resulting in rounder, more open expression of grape that is just singing right now.
Domaine Sauveterre, Jus de Chaussette 2014
From 70 year old vines planted over black volcanic soils, this is fermented long and slow with whole bunches in cuve and undergoes a very gentle manual press that lasts over a week. A wonderfully vibrant, spiced Gamay that is impossible to put down.