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Château de Beauregard, Grand Beauregard Pouilly-Fuissé 2012

White Wine from France - Burgundy
Big, broad and powerful Burgundy made from the best barrels from the best vineyards owned by Château de Beauregard from most of the communes of Pouilly-Fuissé and aged about 18 months in barrel. Ripe and rich with an emerging hint of honey from the extended bottle age.
Price: £39.00 Bottle
Price: £234.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: BU57161

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2022
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Maison Joseph Burrier

The Burrier family, who have lived in Burgundy for 500 years, own both Château de Beauregard in Pouilly-Fuissé and the négociant Maison Joseph Burrier, and have done so for six generations. The current generation in charge is Frédéric Burrier, who returned to the family business in 1999 after many years at Jadot. The charismatic, passionate and industrious Frédéric has done much to raise the quality bar in this tiny enclave of the southern Mâconnais. The family holds 22 hectares of Pouilly-Fuissé, 7 hectares in Saint-Véran and 12 hectares in Beaujolais.

Half of the Beaujolais vines are in Fleurie, but there are also small plots in Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour and Chiroubles. The vines range from 35 to 45 years old on average, and are located at some of the most prestigious plots in their respective appellations. In Fleurie, for instance, the vines are mostly at the highly respected Poncié site which borders Moulin-à-Vent, whereas in Moulin-à-Vent itself the family owns a superb vineyard called Les Petits Bois.

All of the family’s Beaujolais is made at a winery in Fleurie. The various crus are all vinified in a traditional style, and most spend some time in oak – for Saint-Amour and Morgon this is seven to ten months, Moulin-à-Vent spends around nine months in oak, and in the case of the Fleurie, just half of the blend is aged in oak, usually for around six to eight months.

The Burriers’ 22 hectares of Pouilly-Fuissé vines are split between the three villages of Fuissé, ...
The Burrier family, who have lived in Burgundy for 500 years, own both Château de Beauregard in Pouilly-Fuissé and the négociant Maison Joseph Burrier, and have done so for six generations. The current generation in charge is Frédéric Burrier, who returned to the family business in 1999 after many years at Jadot. The charismatic, passionate and industrious Frédéric has done much to raise the quality bar in this tiny enclave of the southern Mâconnais. The family holds 22 hectares of Pouilly-Fuissé, 7 hectares in Saint-Véran and 12 hectares in Beaujolais.

Half of the Beaujolais vines are in Fleurie, but there are also small plots in Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour and Chiroubles. The vines range from 35 to 45 years old on average, and are located at some of the most prestigious plots in their respective appellations. In Fleurie, for instance, the vines are mostly at the highly respected Poncié site which borders Moulin-à-Vent, whereas in Moulin-à-Vent itself the family owns a superb vineyard called Les Petits Bois.

All of the family’s Beaujolais is made at a winery in Fleurie. The various crus are all vinified in a traditional style, and most spend some time in oak – for Saint-Amour and Morgon this is seven to ten months, Moulin-à-Vent spends around nine months in oak, and in the case of the Fleurie, just half of the blend is aged in oak, usually for around six to eight months.

The Burriers’ 22 hectares of Pouilly-Fuissé vines are split between the three villages of Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson, with Château de Beauregard itself set on a rolling plateau in Pouilly-Fuissé, with one of the best views of the rocks of Vergisson and Solutré.

As sometime president of the local comité interprofessionel, Frédéric works tirelessly to achieve the kind of respect for Pouilly-Fuissé that is enjoyed by the Côte d’Or, and certainly the fine, complex chardonnays produced in the high, cool village of Vergisson have a lovely tension between freshness ad richness, not unlike the balance of a Meursault or a Puligny-Montrachet. The other point of interest here is the bewildering (though not to Frédéric) number of different barrels, with which he likes to experiment. What interests him, he points out, is ‘the élévage, not the wood’, which never dominates his wines.

He makes several estate Pouillys from different plots, including the exotic Vignes Blanches, the generous and charming Insarts both from the warm Fuissé amphitheatre, aristocratic Maréchaude and restrained Charmes both from the cool climate of Vergisson, which could pass for Puligny, elegant Vers Cras from the limestone plateau that surrounds the château, mineral, waxy Chataigners, and rich, Meursault-like Vers Pouilly which lies on the border with Pouilly.

Each wine is fermented in a combination of tank and barrels of different ages, from various coopers, using different woods. Grand Beauregard is an assemblage of the best barrels, parcels and crus, blended when Frédéric has tasted and digested every one of them and given 24 months in barrel, though like all Burrier wines, it has the knack of absorbing wood. Only 12 barrels of this nectar are produced in each vintage.

The family’s 43-hectare portfolio includes 7 hectares in Saint-Véran. Towards the bottom of the slope at Chasselas they have the cool Vernay vineyard, which produces a fresh, brisk wine which is bottled without oak, as well as (in increasing order of richness) La Roche and then En Faux which are both usually fermented 50% in tank and 50% in barrel. These are close to the quality of much basic Pouilly-Fuissé but can be had for around two-thirds of the price.

Frédéric also produces three Mâcons and is developing a newish plot of pinot noir, planted in 2002 from which he produces around a thousand bottles a year, snapped up by local restaurants. In 2015 Frédéric bought an interest in Domaine de la Rochette in the nearby commune of Bussières having noted it as a property capable of making excellent Mâcon.

From his négociant arm, Maison Joseph Burrier, we buy The Society’s Exhibition Pouilly-Fuissé, a Mâcon-Fuissé and a lovely Viré-Clesé from vines planted in 1947 at Quintaine, all made from bought in grapes.

For a man with so much going on, he seems remarkably relaxed. ‘Je suis passionné, non stressé’ he says. And it shows in his wines.
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Burgundy Vintage 2012

Varying from great to excellent, 2012 is a concentrated but fresh vintage, with many similarities to 2010. It is however even more concentrated than the 2010 because yields were even lower. 2012 was a coolish year and it was the tiny, grand cru-like yields of just 25-30 hectolitres per hectare that allowed the grapes to ripen fully yet remain fresh. This rare combination of concentration with freshness is an unusual balance because they are usually diametrically opposed. Variable weather over time and region means that we shall approach the regions separately below.

The Côte de Nuits reds are superb. They are deep coloured, intensely aromatic, moderate in alcohol, have ripe black-cherry pinot fruit, concentrated flavours, sweet tannins and lovely freshness too. However, they wear their undoubted concentration lightly. Terroirs are well defined. All is good geographically and hierarchically. The wines’ beautiful balance of ripe tannins means they can be approached early but they have...
Varying from great to excellent, 2012 is a concentrated but fresh vintage, with many similarities to 2010. It is however even more concentrated than the 2010 because yields were even lower. 2012 was a coolish year and it was the tiny, grand cru-like yields of just 25-30 hectolitres per hectare that allowed the grapes to ripen fully yet remain fresh. This rare combination of concentration with freshness is an unusual balance because they are usually diametrically opposed. Variable weather over time and region means that we shall approach the regions separately below.

The Côte de Nuits reds are superb. They are deep coloured, intensely aromatic, moderate in alcohol, have ripe black-cherry pinot fruit, concentrated flavours, sweet tannins and lovely freshness too. However, they wear their undoubted concentration lightly. Terroirs are well defined. All is good geographically and hierarchically. The wines’ beautiful balance of ripe tannins means they can be approached early but they have wonderful development potential so will keep very well too. Spring frost and poor weather, including hail, at flowering, were the principal reasons why most growers lost about 40% of the crop, and so produced about 30hl/ha. The poor flowering produced many millerands where an imperfect fertilisation results in berries remaining small with a very high ratio of skin to pulp, and fewer seeds, resulting in deeper colour and softer tannins which is beneficial for quality. It was then a challenging year in the vineyard with strong presence of the diseases oidium and mildew, but the best growers rose to the challenge. The small crop with well-spaced bunches developed slowly in the coolish spring and early summer, and ripened with a flourish in a hot and sunny August and September.

As well as the same spring frosts and poor weather at flowering that occurred in the Côte de Nuits, the Côte de Beaune suffered from a number of destructive hailstorms. Some parts of Volnay and Pommard were hit three times and the crop reduced by up to 80%. The effect of hail is complicated, depending on when it hit (the earlier the better) and how severe the damage. It is often very localised. The timing of the hail was relatively early, the last being 1st August.

There are many superb Côte de Beaune whites with remarkable levels of concentration because they were made from half a crop (25–28 hl/ha) due to the same problems of poor flowering and hail. Hail is less of a problem for white wines as the grapes are more successful at lower levels of ripeness than pinot.

Indeed the trap to avoid was overripeness so the small crop was best picked early. Luckily there was no botrytis. A handful of wines are a little riper than ideal, but the vast majority score 9–10/10. The best wines are pure, moderate in alcohol, with firm fruit, and many have a lovely grip from the fresh acidity and phenolic compounds from the thick skins which will help them to age beautifully. Again it is like 2010. 2010 is a little more elegant and 2012 a bit richer.

2012 Chablis wines have wonderful pure, crystalline aromas, firm steely fruit and lovely grip and dry extract. Again, low crops of 18–38hl/ha caused by spring frosts and poor flowering were the culprits. However, Chablis managed to avoid the hail. The cool year meant there was a strong pressure of diseases like oidium and mildew but this was successfully treated. There was no botrytis. They started picking 20th September to preserve the freshness.

It was another lovely vintage in the Mâcon, again similar to 2010: fresh, fine, concentrated wines with moderate alcohol, which are pure and long. Generally yields were reasonable, around 50hl/ha, as in 2010. Poor flowering reduced the yield a little.
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2012 vintage reviews

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