2016 Domaine Marc Roy, Marsannay Blanc “Les Champs Perdrix” White Burgundy, France.
I am a huge fan of Alexandrine Roy’s wines, especially her Gevrey-Chambertin reds and even her Oregon wines she oversees for Phelps Creek in the Columbia Gorge, but her Domaine Marc Roy Chardonnay from Marsannay in the Cote Chalonnaise region of Burgundy is a beauty as well with clear trans-act and mineral charms. Alexandrine Roy is a 4th generation vigneron, and the current matriarch of the Roy family, she farms old vine parcels in Gevrey-Chambertin and Marsannay, employing organic practices and ever searching for perfection. This is a tiny domaine, according to her importer Skurnik, that includes just four hectares that are meticulously cared for as if it was Alexandrine’s personal garden. Alexandrine knows her vineyards (many of which are more than 100 years old) are a reflection of her soul and they have roots that are dug deep into the shallow limestone soils and she wants that to show through in her wines like this Marsannay. Roy strives for purity and elegance, her work in the cellar, as noted by Skurnik and relayed to me when I’ve tasted with Alexandrine herself, is done with minimal intervention and extraction, Alexandrine allows her old vines to express themselves with immense depth of flavor and clarity.
The coveted selection of wines from Domaine Marc Roy includes some majestic Pinot Noirs from mostly special Lieu-Dits like La Justice and Clos Prieur, as well as Alexandrine’s Vieilles Vignes (Old Vine), one of my favorites, along with this vibrant Chardonnay, which is on par with many Premier Cru Chablis in class and style. The Marsannay Blanc is from a surprisingly high elevation plot on thin soils over pure limestone, both of which give energy and mineral character to this wine that shows layers of lemon, pear and green apple fruits as well as snappy spice, peach pit, golden fig and clove with a touch of hazelnut and leesy toastiness. Alexandrine uses 40 plus year old organic Chardonnay vines for her pretty and vivid Marsannay Blanc that was fermented in stainless steel tank with 100% indigenous yeasts and then raised in French oak, about which was close to 20% new. This 2016 Les Champs Perdrix Marsannay Blanc is ripe and perfectly balanced with a medium bodied palate and a lingering richness and depth, after a slight smoky reductive note it opens nicely with hints of white flowers and gains in textural pleasure with time in the glass, while still briskly vigorous with natural acidity, making it lovely with soft cheeses and white fleshy fish dishes.
($45 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive