Hors Classe "Les Ménétrières" 2011 - Wine

Hors Classe "Les Ménétrières"
Hors Classe "Les Ménétrières"

Location

This south-east facing vineyard, which, at its northernmost point, reaches the village boundary of Fuissé itself, covers less than a hectare of ground.

Vineyards' age

A third of the vines are 40 years old, a third are 20 years old and the final third are 10 years old.

Soil

The soil, which is derived from alluvial deposits, consists of a mix of deep silt and clay containing few stones. The subsoil features streaks of limestone and limestone marls, while the top layers are rich in stone-free limestone deposits derived from the light marls of the Dogger bank.

Tasting

The nose suggests great ripeness. Subtle creamy notes are blended into a complex array of Chardonnay fruit notes underpinned by honeyed aromas, toast and quince paste. The aromas are superbly rich and generous. On the palate, this wine is powerful and intense, with a vivid finish. Because of its power and richness, this wine would benefit from being allowed to mature for a few years.

Wine and food pairing

Due to its impressive richness and balance, the wines of les Ménétrières deserve to be matched to dishes of great refinement, such as a sole Meunière, a terrine of foie gras, grilled lobster, sea bass or poulet de Bresse with cèpes, but it's also a perfect partner for such cheeses as Vacherin Mont d'Or, Saint-Marcellin or even a Saint-Maure.

The vintage

Vintages follow, one after the other, yet never resemble each other... If a grape-grower's work sometimes appears to be an on-going battle with nature, where ever y instant seems to bring them dangerously close to a precipice - as has been the case in certain recent vintages - others, such as 2011, are serene and harmonious. The growing season began early, probably the earliest of the past decade. Right up until flowering, the weather was remarkably dry and sunny. The first flowers appeared in the ‘les Ménétrières' parcel right at the start of May. Flowering was brief, and passed without any evidence of poor fruit set - a gift from Mother Nature. This precocious development continued apace through the second half of May and on into June. Luckily for all concer ned, not least the growers themselves, the end of the month saw the arrival of some much-needed rain. July, though, saw the star t of a period of drought. It wasn't overly hot, but there was nar y a drop of rain. While a certain amount ofhydric stress is a fundamental requirement in order to achieve ideal ripeness levels, growers had to abstain from any deep soil work in order to conserve what little humidity there was - and all such work had to take place in the coolness of the day's end. It was also vital in 2011 to keep enough foliage in place to protect the bunches - no leaf plucking required ! Mid-August : the drought continues... The bunches are superb. In our marvellous village of Fuissé, we know that maintaining the right level of acidity in our grapes is one of the secrets of balance in our wines. Several days were spent sur veying the various parcels of Domaine Ferret, tasting the grapes as we went, then the decision was taken to pick early. For the second time in many decades, harvest began in August. 28 August : the first grapes are picked. The harvest is beautiful : no hail, the musts are pure and crystalline, the vinification flows easily. Our decisions are justified by the early juice: balance and precision are present. The grapes are ripe, but acidity is maintained. Fermentation unfolds steadily and slowly over the course of the next few weeks, finishing at the end of October. Never theless, we had to wait until April for the wines to begin to reveal themselves fully. Today they have become real wines, full and rich, supported by great freshness and mouth-watering juiciness. The vintage character is expressed with great elegance. This harmony will allow the wines to be enjoyed in their youth, but they will fare evenbetter if they are ‘forgotten' in a cellar for several years.


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