Thursday, November 7, 2013

Marie-Pierre Manciat: Maven of the Mâconnais


While there are many badass ladies making wine featured in the Langdon Shiverick book, one Burgundian has particularly stood out to me over the course of this year: Marie-Pierre Manciat and her repertoire of deliciously textured and exceptionally pure whites from the sub appellations of Mâcon. Her Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Vinzelles, Mâcon Chaintré, and her delicately saline Crémant de Bourgogne provide a solution to the age-old question of how to drink Burgundy on a budget. This is affordable Chardonnay in its apogee.

Born into an established winemaking family in the Mâconnais, Marie-Pierre Manciat became the sixth generation to take over the family Chardonnay biz in 2002 (the estate has been in existence since 1871). Up until the 80’s, the juice was largely sold off in bulk to local negociants. Then her father Claude took the helm and resurrected the domaine to its proper pedigree and potential with the use of meticulous viticultural and vinification standards, sustainable agriculture, attention to detail, etc.

Manciat made wines with her husband during the aughties (some of you may recall when the wines were labeled Larochette Manciat) but since 2009, the wines have been elaborated solely by Marie-Pierre. And frankly, they are better than ever. Moreover, there is something for everyone. If you crave a delectable picnic wine white with pedigree, her Mâcon “Les Morizottes” inspires from a 25 year old parcel in Chaintré and frontlines in the low $10 range. It is ideal for guzzling at outdoor gatherings or early evening apéros (not to rub in it, but here in Los Angeles we still enjoy these types of activities well into the darker days of the year.)

Though Pouilly-Vinzelles possesses significantly less renown than its neighbor Pouilly-Fuissé, Manciat’s PV “Les Longeays” is a Chardonnay possessive of great length and character – it’s also a playful wine that punches well above its weight class and will delight Burgophiles curious about lesser-known AOCs. The Pouilly-Fuissé “Les Petites Bruyeres” is rich and mellifluous with plenty of golden delicious apple and crushed rocks; it also features a laser-like acidity that sprints up the tongue, leaving you jonzing for your next sip. This duality is, in my humble opinion, the quintessence of sexy wine. Finally the crémant is a clean and crisp and brilliantly dry, a good choice alternative to sweeter prosecco or even Champagne.

If you haven’t yet, give these wines a go. They’re the next big thing.

- Lily Davis 11/6/13

NV Manciat Cremant de Bourgogne – 91WA

2011 Manciat Macon “Les Morizottes” – 91WA

2011 Manciat Pouilly-Vinzelles “Les Longeays” – 90WA

2011 Manciat Pouilly-Fuissé “Les Petites Bruyeres” – 92WA