For over three decades Boutinot has been based in the Maconnais in southern Burgundy; relying upon Samantha Bailey to craft and blend wines which honestly express the tapestry of the local terroir. With a back of the hand knowledge of the effect of each slope and soil type on a wine, we dared to imagine owning an estate, yet such opportunities are rare in Burgundy as domaines pass from one generation to the next.
Finally we succeeded in buying two key plots in the best climats of Saint-Veran, together with a gravity fed winery (in need of renovation) and a 300 year old house made of the local honey stone. A place we call Genetie, in honour of the mysterious name we found etched into the stone of a listed pillar within the building. While we renovate the cellar and building we'll continue to discover interesting wines that truthfully represent the diverse terroir of the Maconnais.
Plots within the Macon-Charnay-les-Macon appellation lie on the higher slopes of the Mont du Maconnais, where soils are varied but limestone is prevalent. Here Chardonnay ripens under a Continental climate (typically cold winters followed by warm springs and almost Mediterranean sun in the summer). Once ripe, picking is both by hand and machine. Machine harvesting has the advantage of picking in the early hours of the morning before daylight when the temperature rises; hand picking is gentler and keeps whole bunches intact.
After pressing and static settling the must is cooled to around 12°C to ensure a controlled fermentation. Once alcoholic fermentation is complete, wines are left to winter and undergo malolactic fermentation. With enviable priority access to the cellar in Macon-Charnay, Samantha tastes each individual tank (up to 20) to select a very personalised blend for Genetie 'Les Piliers', combining three essential elements - the florals, the exotic and the mineral. The final blend is kept on fine lees until bottling, combining the warmth of southern Burgundy with the elegance and finesse of the special terroir of Macon-Charnay-les-Macon.
Immediately appealing with good depth of flavour and underlying finesse that provides wonderful length and unfolding flavours - think of freshly cut hay and meadowsweet for the nose, crunchy greengages for the palate, and some candied peel / lemongrass for the final notes.
An extremely versatile wine that can be enjoyed alone or with food, delicious alongside grilled fish (locally we would use zander), chicken in cream sauce (poulet a la creme), asparagus & mushroom risotto, fish chowder, a traditional roast chicken with all the trimmings, or even a cheese platter - particularly goat's cheese.