(from 65-year-old vines; bottled a full two and a half years after the harvest; 80% aged in oak and 20% in tank): Vinified and bottled without sulfur, Valette's 2015 Mâcon-Chaintré Vieilles Vignes responds well to oxygen—in fact, it's best decanted. Opening in the glass with aromas of buttered orchard fruit, orange rind, smoke and nutmeg, the wine is medium to full-bodied, satiny-textured and muscular, with lively acids, chewy structuring extract and a long, sapid finish. This is an intensely characterful Mâcon-Chaintré that exemplifies the last two decades of reflection and evolution chez Valette. Any readers who find parallels with the wines of Jean-François Ganevat will be interested to know that Valette told me that the two producers are working with fruit that grows in the same strata of Jurassic limestone—though there are clearly technical and philosophical parallels too.
92/100 William Kelley | The Wine Advocate | Issue 244 End of August 2019
Baptiste and Philippe Valette continues on in their father Gerard’s footsteps by producing incredible wines, packed with personality. They are the reference point for artisan wines from the Mâconnais. Their work is exacting; once the fruit is ready the harvest is manual in late September and once in the winery the entire harvest is pressed slowly with a pneumatic press. Vinification is natural: without sulphur, without yeasts, chaptalisation or acidification.
I often find myself in the cellars and homes of the winemakers that we work with and those that we would like to work with and it is interesting to see the bottles that have been kept by them that sit empty in their homes and cellars. I think it would be fair to say that those of Valette have been the most prominent and when remarked upon, his work is respected and adored.