Antoine Vincent reported that, after a cold dry winter, spring was warm causing a flowering 10 to 15 days earlier than the norm. They had a hot June with storms, but mercifully escaped the hail. The hot summer led to small berries but there were plenty of them, and alcoholic ripeness was almost reached by 15th August. They waited to harvest from 28th August to achieve full physiological ripeness. They were very pleased with the harvest which was on no way over-ripe and Antoine finds the wines are rather aromatic for a hot year, with beautiful citrus and exotic notes.
The Vincent family has been at the Virginia creeper-clad Château Fuissé since 1862, although the estate itself dates back to 1368. The tower dates from the 15th century and its interior is decorated with tapestries and even a suit of armour which has provided some amusement during our tastings! Antoine Vincent now makes the wine, having taken over from his famous father, Jean-¬Jacques Vincent, whilst brother-in¬-law, Philip Tuinder, and sister Bénédicte run the commercial side. The domaine stands at 30 ha with vines in Pouilly-Fuissé, St¬-Véran, Mâcon and Juliénas, all cultivated with limited use of treatments. Their ‘Tête de Cru’ is a masterful blend from many sites while the Vieilles Vignes is from 40 to 70 year-old vines. Three single vineyard wines are made, the most rewarding of which we feel is Le Clos from a gently sloping, stony clay vineyard situated just behind the château. The over-¬arching aim is for natural ripeness, concentration and a mineral freshness that reflects the character of the vines. Jean-Jacques was fastidious about the careful use of oak, the wines generally spending nine months in barrel on their lees, and this continues under Antoine.