Wines By Region / Burgundy / Maconnais / Pouilly Fuissé / Domaine Parisse
|Charles Neal Selections||
Charles Neal Selections © 2018
|Charles Neal Selections||
Domaine Parisse is owned by Christophe Thibert and his sister Sandrine Thibert-Needham. While some of their labels bear the name Domaine Thibert and others Domaine Parisse, they are in fact two different labels that avoid marketing conflicts but that contain the same wine. The domaine is located in the center of the tiny, picturesque village of Fuissé and now totals 22 hectares.
The family has been growing grapes for 7 generations. Christophe’s grandfather was one of 12 children whose family owned only 2 hectares of vines. Understandably, when his father and mother, René Thibert and Andrée Parisse, decided to stay in town and make wine, it was necessary for them to rent parcels and buy them whenever possible. In 1967, with 2.5 hectares to their name, they harvested their own grapes for the first time, selling them to the local cooperative.
With his wine school studies complete, Christophe began working at the domaine with his father in 1990. While still selling grapes to the local cooperative, they began to bottle wine for the first time. In 1999, after completing her studies that included a jaunt in New Zealand, his sister Sandrine jointed the family firm. Today, Christophe is in charge of the wine side, while Sandrine deals with the commercial side, of the business.
Nearly half of their vineyards are in Pouilly-Fuissé, and they have others in Pouilly-Vinzelles, Pouilly-Loché, Saint Veran, Macon-Fuissé, Macon-Prissé and Macon-Verzé. In 2007, The Thiberts began converting to organic viticulture but a couple of years later decided to modify their approach. While they abandoned the use of chemical fertilizers, began plowing instead of using weed killer, and limited their synthetic sprays to the most crucial parts of the season when the health of the plants is compromised, they didn’t seek any sort of official certification.
Harvest is done partially by hand and partially be machine. Generally, the more expensive the cuvée, the higher the chance is that its grapes are harvested by hand. All the wines coming from the Macon villages are harvested in the early hours of the morning with a late model, high-tech machine. Many of the Thibert wines are harvested and vinified parcel-by-parcel and often released with the parcel or climat name on the label, such as Saint Veran Bois de Fée, Pouilly-Vinzelles Les Longeays or Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cras. Some of these single parcels will hopefully one day have premier cru status (paperwork has been submitted to the INAO for their consideration).
Apart from the Macon wines, all Thibault wines see aging in barrel, but since 2012 the amount of new oak has been severely decreased. For most wines, no more than 5-15% new oak is used so that the fruit, the terroir and the minerality remain at the forefront. Aging in small barrels, whether new or used, allows Thibert to also keep filtration to a minimum prior to bottling. Production is currently about 180,000 bottles a year.
Attention to detail in the vineyard, low yields, a judicious use of new oak and minimum filtration are all factors that help make the Domaine Parisse wines so delicious.
Domaine Parisse Mâcon-Fuissé
The soils here are mainly volcanic sediment, with patches of clay-limestone. The wine is aged 10% in barrels and 90% in stainless steel vats for 9 to 11 months, then bottled with a light filtration. It has lovely aromas of ripe summer and citrus fruit. The palate is fresh, with a very pure structure, but also a generous roundness.
Domaine Parisse Mâcon-Verzé
This vineyard lies on a well-drained slope on chalky white Jurassic limestone. The wine is aged 10% in barrels and 90% in stainless steel vats for 9 to 11 months, then bottled with a light filtration. It is a surprisingly fine wine, featuring ripe citrus and fresh fruit aromas. The rich well-rounded palate is balanced by a delicate mineral undertone.
Domaine Parisse Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes
This wine is a blend of grapes from several plots of varied terroirs, with an average age of 75 years. Soils are clay-limestone, composed of clay marl and colluvial limestone deposits. It is vinified and aged in barrels and in stainless steel vats for 10 months, then bottled with a light filtration. The high quality of the grapes from these old vines explains the vibrant intensity of this wine. The bouquet is deep, pure and discreet. On the palate, it is a full-bodied, solid, dense and long-lasting wine, sustained by a delicate mineral undertone.
Domaine Parisse Pouilly-Vinzelles “Les Longeays”
In terms of minerality we can say that a Pouilly-Vinzelles has a character that is closer to that of a Pouilly-Fuissé. The domaine’s version is vinified and aged in barrels for 11 months and then goes into stainless steel tanks. It is bottled with little or no filtration. The wine has an intense and deep nose (with a hint of gunflint) reminiscent of its original terroir and its oak aging. The palate is ample, well rounded and structured with good acidity and harmonious oak accents, lightened by a velvety aspect and a pleasant finish of citrus.
Domaine Parisse Saint Véran “Bois des Fée”
Véran is split into two separate islands by its close relative Pouilly-Fuissé, with both occupying slopes forming part of the chain of hills to which the Roche de Solutré belongs. This rocky backbone is made of fossil-rich limestone mixed with clay, flint and marl. Saint-Véran wines are generally fresh—a little less rich than those of Pouilly-Fuissé—and offer excellent price/quality rapport. Bois de Fée, grown on a lovely slope overlooking the town of Chasselas and Leynes, produces rich wines with lovely notes of tropical fruit restrained by taut acids, a finely perfumed musk note and excellent length. This Saint Véran is very fine indeed!
Domaine Parisse Pouilly-Loché “En Chantone”
A Pouilly-Loché is in general more supple, while a Pouilly-Vinzelles has a more marked minerality, says Christophe Thibert. My opinion is that you can drink a Pouilly-Loché earlier than a Pouilly-Vinzelles. In any case, the domaine’s En Chantone cuvée is an impressive wine. The vineyard, with soils of deep clay, is in the village of Loché. The wine is vinified and aged for 18 to 22 months—in barrels for 11 months, and for the rest of the time in stainless steel vats. It is bottled with little or no filtration. The wine’s length and freshness are characteristic of a terroir that delivers intense minerality. This minerality perfectly balances the opulence of the wine. It has very good aging potential.