Tasting T1.8 Chalonnaise & Maconnais Whites

For some years now we have been passing through (and sometimes stopping to visit) the Cote Chalonnaise and Cote Maconnais. These  being the wine areas around the cities of Chalon-Sur-Saone and Macon. Geographically these areas are located south of the famous Cote D’Or (from where the world’s most expensive Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs hail). This southern end of ‘Burgundy’ is the source of some of the best quality/price ratio wines. No surprise that we fell in love with them at first taste and later managed to import wine from two wonderful vineyards.

The Chalonnaise is home to the wine villages of Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny-Les-Buxy..

Rully, the AOC was created in 1939. Two-thirds of the production is white wine and one-third, red. There are 23 Premier Cru vineyards. Annual production circa 16,000 hectoliter. (2.1m bottles).

Mercurey, the AOC was created in 1923.  It is the largest wine-producing area of the Chalonnaise. Approximately 90% of production is red wine. There are 30 premier cru vineyards. Average production circa 27,500 hectoliter. (3.7 million bottles).

Givry, the AOC was created in 1946. Red wines account for almost 80% of production and White 20%. There are 27 premier Cru vineyards. Annual production circa 12,500 hectoliter. (1.7m bottles).

Montagny, the AOC was created in 1936. This appellation only produces white wine. There are 49 Premier Cru vineyards. Annual production circa 12,000 hectoliter. (1.65m bottles).

The Maconnais is home to a variety of wine villages all based around the city. It produces over 45 million bottles. Macon was granted its AOC in 1937. Below are the more qualitive areas and they make white wine only.

Macon + specific village/commune name (eg, Macon-Clesse), 95,000 hectoliters, 12.5m bottles.

Vire-Clesse, AOC created in 1999 when this area was uprated from within the Macon AOC. White wine only and no premier Cru’s. Area of production circa 22,000 hectoliter, 2.9m bottles.

Saint-Veran, the AOC was granted in 1971. Only white wine is produced. There are no premier cru’s. Area under vine is circa 750 hectares and produces circa 4m bottles.

Pouilly-Fuisse, AOC was granted in 1936 and comes from the communes Fuisse, Solutre-Pouilly, Vergisson and Chaintre. Pouilly-Fuisse was granted Premier Cru status in 2020 and there are currently 22 premier cru climats. Annual production of circa 39,000 hectoliter, 5.2m bottles.

In 2012 we found a small family vineyard by the name of Jean-Paul Thibert in the village of Fuisse near Macon. On our first visit we met the son-in-law Igor Miranda. Doesn’t sound very French does it. Turns out Igor is Brazilian and met Jean-Paul’s daughter on her trip to Brazil.

Some years later and now married into the family, he changed career path to become a winemaker and took over running the vineyards and winemaking duties from his father-in-law when he retired.

It took us a few visits over a few years to prise some their wines out of them, but persistence pays off and eventually we took delivery in late 2016 of the 2015 vintage.

We know that in comparison with other wines we tasted in the local area the wines of Thibert-Miranda were particularly good and for us, eventually and after much discussion, not just available, but also at a reasonable price point.

We included them in this tasting so we could look at them again from a tasting perspective. However most of the other wines we have gathered to taste are from the neighbouring Chalonnaise area and from some very well respected names. In truth, the Thibert-Miranda wines should be the least impressive of these wines as they are from a less experienced vigneron and indeed are much less expensive.

To the Domaines….

Domaine Thibert-Miranda (Formerly Jean-Paul Thibert)

Igor Miranda re-branded (as is often customary in France) the company to Thibert-Miranda in order to represent both its history and heritage but also to show his involvement. Very modern labels and impressive improvement in winemaking. The range has also been extended from the three traditional wines to include a Macon-Villages (previously the grapes went to the local co-op), a Pouilly-Fuisse ‘Long-Poil’ and hopefully soon a 1er cru as the new classification comes into force. 

Domaine J A Ferret

Located in the village of Fuisse, Domaine Ferret has been making wine since 1840. A series of strong women raised the profile, the area and the Domaine. It was acquired by Louis Jadot in 2008 and under continued female management has continued to excel.

Domaine Joblot

Formed by Charles Joblot as Givry was recognised as an appellation controlee in 1946, this 14 hectare domaine has been handed down through the generations to Juliet, Charles great-granddaughter, in 2012. It is now rightfully one of the top domaines in the Chalonnaise producing excellent Red and white Givry.

A & P de Villaine

Aubert de Villaine of Domaine Romanee-Conti (producer of the most expensive wines in Burgundy) established this domaine in 1971. His nephew Pierre de Benoist now runs it. Extremely great pedigree.

Stephane Aladame

A leading light in the Montagny wine scene, Stephane created the estate in 1992. Since then it has grown to 8 hectares, 7 of which are 1er Cru sites. Stephane produces beautiful mineral driven wines that more closely resemble a good Chablis rather than a Puligny-Montrachet.

This evenings tasting was conducted by myself and Harry, with able (or not) assistance lent by Jen, Luke and a guest taster Susan.

1st up is…

Thibert-Miranda Macon-Fuisse 2019

Probably the most impressive Macon I have ever tasted. For what is historically a lowly appellation and a source of good value simple chardonnay, this has so much more going on than normal for this level.

Nose: Yellow with a slight hint of gold on first viewing. Lovely peaches, stone fruits and citrus. A burst of flavours, really expressive and in your face. Classic chardonnay notes coming through with hints of exotic fruits as well.

Palate: A lovely luscious body, very warming and well rounded. Powerful stone fruits, peaches and nectarines coming through with citrus and floral notes towards the end. Slight hint of grapefruit on the end however most likely exacerbated by the moderate acidity. A lovely medium length finish to round of a really good start. Lovely.

Thibert-Miranda- St-Veran 2019

St-Veran ‘A La Cote’ is a much more mineral wine than the Macon-Fuisse. Juicy acidity allows it to age well with a purity. A good wine for people who like the more clean and linear style from this area.

Nose: Pale straw with hints of yellow on first viewing. Similar aromas of stone fruits and citrus, however apples and pears appearing as well. Floral notes such as white flowers coming through as well.

Palate: Much lime and lemon in this one! Followed by usual notes of stone fruits and citrus. Grapefruit much more pronounced with this wine, mainly due to its youth. This was still a very young wine as this Saint Veran is made to be aged and drunk when it is 5 years old. A medium body with full acidity and a full finish. This will certainly get better in 2-3 years’ time!

A & P de Villaine Rully 1er Cru Les Margotes 2019

This cuvee was first produced in 2015 from south-east facing Chardonnay vines. Clear, precise and fruity. Excellent power and will last a good while too.

Nose: Pale straw on first viewing. Banana, coconut, mango… WOW!!! – Exact words I have written. This was phenomenal, I have tasted hints of exotic fruits before but not like this… It was like a cocktail! This was bursting with exotic fruit and was so interesting. Add the oak aged grapes in and you’ve got yourself brioche/butter which just makes it all smell like a white fruit cake. It was amazing.

Palate: All of the above exotic fruits were firmly on the palate. Grapefruit was coming through on the end making this so interesting. A light body, but with high acidity and a full finish. This will age extremely well and I cannot wait to see what it has in the bag at 6-9 years of age. Absolutely incredible for only £35 as well. I cannot recommend enough!!

Thibert-Miranda Pouilly-Fuisse 2019

A more full-bodied version of Chardonnay than the earlier two wines. Pouilly and Fuisse are two villages just south of Macon that combine to produce the best wines of the Maconnaise.

Nose: Yellow with hints of gold on first viewing. Similar normal chardonnay aromas. Stone fruits, citrus and vanilla all very clear on the nose. Pouilly-Fuisse generally need a few years to age and you can already tell that this is still young. Tasting is going to be interesting.

Palate: Lots more coming through on the palate. Stone fruits and citrus really powerful on the forefront. Vanilla and grapefruit coming through towards the end. With food this really opened up a little later and was much better as well. Full bodied with full acidity and a full finish. Give it 4 more years and this is going to be really really good!!

Domaine Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse 2019

A blend of some of the best parcels from Fuisse’s ampitheatre. The average age of the vines is 40 years, with the oldest (les Vernays) being planted in 1955.

Nose: Pale straw on first viewing. Again same chardonnay aromas that you would expect. Stone fruits, citrus, butter, apples and pears. However, there was more of a depth and intensity of flavour here. Almost preparing you for what was to come.

Palate: This was extremely well structured and balanced. A beautiful wine, filled with stone fruits, butter and pears. Truly wonderful, a must buy in my opinion. A full body with full acidity and a full length finish is exactly what I imagined it would be. This had everyone around the table purring. Really beautifully crafted. Age can only make this better and my word it was already outstanding.

Domaine Joblot Givry 1er Cru 2020

This cuvee is the result of blending from their plot in Servoisine (Vineyard) with the old vines from En Veau (vineyard). 

Nose: Yellow on first viewing. I definitely think we have arrived at the business end of this tasting. This was fantastic straight from the off. Smoky with stone fruits and citrus. We could all get something exotic but were unable to put our fingers on it for some time. We ended up agreeing that it was something similar to banana bread with vanilla. Both vanilla and butter were very present on the nose as well.

Palate: This was singing. Beautiful structure again and the stone fruits with vanilla and grapefruit were magnificent. It was extremely acidic with a medium body and full length finish. Minerality was consistent of a really good chardonnay. Very well balanced and just an all-round pleasure to drink. Even better with food !!

Stephane Aladame Montagny 1er Cru Les Vignes Derriere 2019

A really great Montagny, balanced and refined with an effortless quality. Montagny when in the hands of a great producer is very underrated.

Nose: Pale straw on first viewing. Oak, stone fruits and citrus all firmly present on the nose. Apples, pears and vanilla very much coming through on further investigation. A very traditional style of wine.

Palate: Beautiful structure and minerality is on point. Stone fruits and vanilla harmonising perfectly to create a beautiful wine. Citrus, apples and pears coming through as well. It is still quite youthful and will become even better after a few more years. Full bodied with full acidity and a medium-full length finish. A cracking way to end the tasting with the last three wines so close together for scoring. Brilliant!


Having tasted the three wines from Thibert-Miranda many times over different vintages, it was nice to actually test and score them against some top notch Domaines. As dad wrote earlier, the Thibert-Miranda wines should really be on the lower end of the scores as the other Domaines are extremely well known for their quality.

A & P de Villaine deserves a special mention as this was truly an extraordinary and different wine. So much so that I have bought some for myself just so I can taste it again in a few years’ time! I would highly recommend any of these wines from this line-up. All of them were very good and all of them (save the Macon Fuisse) will improve with age.

So, finally the scores…

Macon Fuisse 2019 – 89 Points

Saint Veran 2019 – 89 Points

Rully 1er Cru Margotes 2019 – 93 Points

Pouilly Fuisse 2019 – 91 Points

Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuisse 2019 – 92 Points

Givry 1er Cru Mademoiselle 2020 – 93 Points

Montagny 1er Cru Les Vignes Derrieres 2019 – 92 Points

No surprises really of the two wines that came joint top. However, notice that the Thibert-Miranda Pouilly Fuisse was up there at 91 points alongside Domaine Ferret at Stephane Aladame each with one point more.

Nothing extraordinary came out of this tasting however some top notch, incredibly good quality wines were on show. Repeating myself but I really would recommend all of these.

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it 😊

David & Harry

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