When you reach Mâcon on the Autoroute du Soleil, you realise you are no longer in le nord’. This is where the midi begins. Drab, flat-tiled roofs gradually give way to that evocative symbol of the south, pantiles. The roller-coaster geology flows like great waves to the west, culminating in the spectacular cliffs of Vergisson and Solutré.
Some of the most attractive white burgundies come from the southern end of the region. A touch more sun and warmth works wonders here – the wines tend to have a little more body, richness and power. In turn, they can cope with a little more oak. So if you enjoy slightly richer, spicier Chardonnay, then Pouilly-Fuissé is the right wine for you.
Vergisson, seven miles due west of Mâcon, is one of five villages that make up the appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé. Here the Drouin family have been winemakers for three generations. It is Thierry Drouin and his son Charles-Edouard who currently run the domaine.
Thierry is a skilful vigneron with many vintages under his belt. He owns nine hectares of beautifully situated vineyards at the slopes of the magnificent rocks of Solutré and Vergisson. He produces superb, age-worthy white burgundies that offer really juicy, supple flavours.
In this region, the soil is rich in the alkaline clay so loved by the Chardonnay grape and the best vineyards are about 1200ft above sea level and face north. This makes the Vergisson wines more refreshing by giving them an extra dash of acidity to offset the ‘fat’ character of many Pouilly-Fuissé wines.
Your exclusive Pouilly-Fuissé Plaisance comes from a tiny plot on the northern edge of the rock of Vergisson. Thierry and Charles-Edouard make just 50 cases for us.
Its lovely juicy melon and citrus fruit is enhanced with a judicious amount of spicy oak and vanilla. The core of minerality keeps it fresh and food-friendly. It makes a great match to chicken in a creamy sauce or smoked fish.