Log in for prices and ordering

Maison Verget

Terrific Values from the Mâconnais and Chablis

For many of our clients, Jean-Marie Guffens should need no introduction. After all, this outspoken, iconoclastic grower and his piercingly bright, limpid wines—both under his Guffens-Heynen and Verget (micro-négoce) labels—have been in our white Burgundy portfolio since day one. 

In his watershed book The New France (Mitchell Beazley, 2002), Andrew Jefford describes the Verget style in the following way: “Don't buy Verget wines looking for the kind of cheese paste, farm straw richness of traditional “funky” white Burgundy; these are white wines made with the kind of ravishing purity, compelling sensual austerity more familiar among the greatest winemakers of the Saar, the Ruwer, or Alsace.” That pretty much sums things up. 

For those new to the Verget style, winemaker Jean-Marie Guffens perhaps summed it up best when he told us: “I am Flemish, I love purity.”

Guffens believes that lees stirring and reduction are embellishments used in white Burgundy to disguise shortcomings (much as dosage and lees aging are used in Champagne). He, therefore, avoids reduction while also bottling under screwcap. He wants you to taste the fruit in all its purity.

Although, as the French would say, this is a grower who cannot keep his tongue in his pocket, Guffens’ longstanding reputation as the enfant terrible of Burgundy has softened somewhat over the years. We cannot say whether or not this is due to the arrival of the quietly spoken Julian Desplans, now Verget’s chief winemaker of five years. What is clear is that Guffens’ fastidious lieutenant— whose CV includes a stint at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti—has instilled an impressive measure of articulate consistency across the entire Verget portfolio. 

It's important to point out that while Verget’s grapes are négoce, the estate works only with low yields, and it is Guffens’ team that conducts the harvest, discarding any substandard material. Then, in the cellar, Desplans works almost exclusively with free-run juices. Ferments are natural and occur in Verget’s large horizontal stainless-steel tanks that offer the same lees to wine ratio as oak barrels. Here, the lees can be worked delicately with nitrogen without introducing any oxygen into the vessel. Guffens and Desplans want you to taste the fruit in all its purity. 

Currently Available

Verget Mâcon-Charnay Clos Saint-Pierre 2021

Verget Mâcon-Charnay Clos Saint-Pierre 2021

Clos Saint-Pierre lies on the south-facing slopes of the Mont du Mâconnais, where soils are varied but limestone is prevalent. Due to frost, the 2021 was drawn from very low yields, gifting a wine of impressive density to match this cool vintage’s energetic drive. Harvested from 23 to 24 September, the free-fun juices fermented entirely in used barrels until the end of January. It’s a beautifully pitched, coiled white Burgundy, with cool stone fruit and lemon rind, giving way to a mouthcoating texture and orange and crème fraîche flavours. The beautifully tailored palate combines silky suppleness and pulsating energy, tapering to a chalk-infused finish. This would very easily slip into a tasting of more expensive wines from the Côte-d’Or.

It’s a beautifully pitched, coiled white Burgundy, with cool stone fruit and lemon rind, giving way to a mouthcoating texture and orange and crème fraîche flavours. The beautifully tailored palate combines silky suppleness and pulsating energy, tapering to a chalk-infused finish. This would very easily slip into a tasting of more expensive wines from the Côte-d’Or.

“The 2021 Mâcon-Charnay Clos Saint-Pierre is one of the standouts of the range this year, exhibiting aromas of citrus fruit, buttery pastry, pear, blanched almonds, white flowers and honey. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and seamless, it's a racy, nicely balanced wine that will drink well on release.”
89 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Verget Mâcon-Charnay Clos Saint-Pierre 2021
Verget Mâcon-Villages Vallons de Lamartine 2020

Verget Mâcon-Villages Vallons de Lamartine 2020

The ‘Valley of Lamartine’ is named after Mâcon native Alphonse de Lamartine, a French author, poet and statesman who was instrumental in the foundation of the French Second Republic. Now you know. The 2020 is a blend from Viré (40%), Pierreclos (20%), Bussières (20%) and Vergisson (20%), all vinified in used oak barrels. Guffens ages this wine for 12 months on lees to emphasise the salinity of his rocky soils. There’s enticing aromas of white peach, beach grass and floral notes leading to a layered, textured palate threaded with sappy freshness and a chalky, savoury complexity that works so well with the Burgundian amplitude on offer. It’s a delicious value wine, with impressive bang-for-your-buck intensity and drive, closing with a salty, lees-enriched finish.

There’s enticing aromas of white peach, beach grass and floral notes leading to a layered, textured palate threaded with sappy freshness and a chalky, savoury complexity that works so well with the Burgundian amplitude on offer. It’s a delicious value wine, with impressive bang-for-your-buck intensity and drive, closing with a salty, lees-enriched finish.

Verget Mâcon-Villages Vallons de Lamartine 2020
Verget au Sud Vin de France Chardonnay 2022

Verget au Sud Vin de France Chardonnay 2022

This wine comes from a number of vineyards in Luberon, the high country of Provence nestled between the Alpes de Haute Provence and the Vaucluse plain. For the most part, the wines fermented and aged in old oak barrels on fine lees for eight months. The result is a creamy-textured provençal white with subtle stone fruit and herby notes that speak of the south. There’s some rich, rolling fruit for those who like their Chardonnay with something to hang on to, but also plenty of the classic Guffens purity, drive and rocky freshness. Value plus.

Verget au Sud Vin de France Chardonnay 2022
Verget Pouilly-Fuissé Terres de Pierres 2020

Verget Pouilly-Fuissé Terres de Pierres 2020

Not be confused with the Mâcon-Villages of the same name (Verget releases multiple cuvees under the name Terres de Pierres which means ‘stony land’) this cuvée is a blend from three vineyards within Pouilly-Fuissé. Facing full north, La Côte—which sits directly below the majestic Roche de Vergisson—brings the cool, mineral line; while the south-facing vines in Vers la Croix and Les Littes contribute density and layered texture. So, you get both the steel and the silk. The wines were naturally fermented and aged in used barrels for six months. 

Here the fruit spectrum errs towards crystalline stone fruits spiked by more exotic notes of rose and lychee. Tasted at the winery this year, it showed intense, rich and ripe aromatics, while the palate was contrastingly firm, steely and tightly wound with a solid core of textural pulpy fruit. The typical depth, power and complexity of this wine will be revealed with time. It is still a pleasure to drink now, but three-plus years of aging would be ideal. Wine writer Gerald Asher once said: “If luxury is never cheap, pleasure need not be expensive”, so if the prices of top Meursault and Puligny leave you giddy, then you know what to do. A wine of real class, and highly representative of Verget’s outstanding portfolio of 2020 white Burgundy.

Verget Pouilly-Fuissé Terres de Pierres 2020
Verget du Sud Vin de France Au Fil du Temps Rouge NV

Verget du Sud Vin de France Au Fil du Temps Rouge NV

Au fil du temps is an expression literally meaning ‘along the thread of time’ and commonly translated ‘as time goes by’. Jean-Marie Guffens felt he could produce—from a palette of vintages—an inexpensive 'bistro' red that would taste greater than the sum of its parts. And here you go! Composed of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache from Côtes du Luberon aged in the solera style, it’s a fragrant, supple, super juicy and gluggable provençal red packed with dark cherry, earth, garrigue, tapenade and subtle truffle notes. The mouthfeel is juicy and tender with loads of character, pure flavours and lovely freshness. Crafted with low sulphur, you might find a prickle of gas (natural CO2) that Guffens uses to preserve fruit aromas.  Most importantly, it finishes cool and bright (it comes in below 13.5% alcohol). It’s a quirky, lip-smacking and superbly priced Guffens ‘creation’.

Verget du Sud Vin de France Au Fil du Temps Rouge NV
Verget Mâcon-Pierreclos Lieu Secret 2022

Verget Mâcon-Pierreclos Lieu Secret 2022

This wine is made from three parcels of vines that touch Domaine Guffens-Heynen’s legendary Chavigne vineyard. The exact location remains a secret as Jean-Marie doesn’t want his neighbour to sell these grapes to anyone but him! This year, the vines were harvested in several passages to obtain perfect ripeness from each vine. It was vinified in barrels with 25% new oak, and, in this case, stirring was carried out “thanks to the exceptional state of the lees”. The result is, as you might expect from a master of this terroir, a wine of great density and power with a lingering finish of candied citrus peel and chalky minerals. This is simply a marvellous wine.

“Another of the portfolio's highlights is the 2022 Mâcon-Pierreclos Lieu Sécret, a racy and precise wine that offers up aromas of pear, hazelnuts, white flowers and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive, with a chalky, penetrating finish, it has turned out well.”
92 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Verget Mâcon-Pierreclos Lieu Secret 2022
Show All

“Jean-Marie Guffens's Verget label continues to be a reference point for the Mâconnais. The best cuvées very much belong among the Mâconnais's élite, but this portfolio is also rich with terrific values to purchase by the case that would make ideal daily drinkers or by-the-glass pours. Classy but keenly priced white Burgundy isn't easy to come by these days, so we should all be thankful for the Maison Verget. These wines come warmly recommended.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

Country

France

Primary Region

Mâconnais

People

Winemakers: Jean-Marie Guffens and Julian Desplans

Availability

National

While you're here