Château des Quarts
Before reading about this magical property, it is important to understand how Dominique Lafon’s love affair with the Mâconnais region began. In the mid-1990s, he was already spending time there with his friend Olivier Merlin, one of a handful of quality driven vignerons that began to put this region on the map as being capable of producing top-flight wines. It became clear that after his exploits in putting his family’s winery in Meursault in the stratosphere of Côte d’Or estates, that he had his sights on southern Burgundy where he saw great potential to really prove something. Olivier’s passion and understanding of the area helped draw him in.
Since 2003, Olivier had been purchasing the grapes grown in the Clos des Quarts vineyard making it his finest Pouilly-Fuissé, although he had no control over the vineyard practices. When he found out that the vineyard (and Château) were up for sale in 2012, he contacted his friend Dominique and a new partnership was born. Their goal is to elevate this great terroir to the highest level of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. Olivier’s team will work the vineyards, and together the two will make the wines in the Merlin cellars of La Roche Vineuse. The 2012 vintage is already in bottle and the results are stunning.
The estate is located on the crest of the hill of Chaintré, oriented southeast overlooking the Saone valley and Mâcon. Its location on top of a large swath of limestone bedrock make it the finest terroir, by far, in a village where most of the vineyards possess overly high levels of rich clay, making wines that are less compelling. Roughly 2.23 hectares (5 acres), it is a walled Monopole vineyard that will certainly be part of the upcoming premier cru classification for certain parcels of Pouilly-Fuissé.