Andrew Guard

Crémant de Bourgogne “Nature”, Céline & Laurent Tripoz

Made from 100% Chardonnay selected from the Tripoz's best vineyards this sparkling wine has a lovely fresh nose of citrus, fresh baked bread and a lovely mineral complexity. It is elegant and has a lovely balance. It is also a far nicer wine to drink than the ocean of supermarket Champagne and a much nicer price too.

Domaine Tripoz is certified Biodynamic and in addition to that the vineyard work is much what one would expect from a quality-conscious estate: severe pruning, de-budding and leaf-plucking (exclusively on the side facing the rising sun). Green harvesting is only employed however when deemed absolutely necessary. The harvest date is timed to ensure that the grapes are brought in at optimum maturity, thus avoiding the need for any “additions” later on in the winemaking process. The bunches are collected in cases which are taken directly to the cellar to encourage as little damage to the grapes as possible - and by extension as little oxidation - prior to pressing. It should also be noted that in keeping with their non-interventionist philosophy, additions of sulphur are kept to a strict minimum in the cellar.

I discovered these terrific wines some years ago whilst sitting in a restaurant (Caves Madeleine) in Beaune waiting for a friend to join me. I thought I’d have a glass of white whilst I waited and so chose a glass of the Mâcon-Vinzelles from Tripoz. Fresh, vigorous, precise and detailed with none of the ’orangey’ flavour, oaky richness or simple fatness that often turns me away from the Mâconnais. I noted them as an address to visit and so I quickly went to meet them. Their house, winery, bottling line and cellar are all under the same roof right opposite the town hall in the sleepy village of Loché, about 10 minutes south of the main town of Macon. It gets said a lot but you really couldn’t meet nicer people.