Émilian Gillet Viré-Clessé
100% Chardonnay. Like Domaine de la Bongran and Domaine de Roally, Domaine Emilian Gillet belongs to the Thevenet family. Each of these three small properties features classic Mâconnais clay-limestone soils and is farmed organically and worked and harvested meticulously by hand. Each yields a single wine, a Viré-Clessé, vinified identically in the cold Thévenet cellar and varying only in terroir particulars and the fermentation and aging lengths. Gillet is an exception only in that the vines are a long-term rental going back to 1988, while Bongran and Roally have always been family-owned.
As for Bongran and Roally, the Gillet bunches are harvested on the later side, destemmed, gently pressed and fermented in old epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts. The fermentations are long and slow, taking at least until the following spring and summer; typically, Gillet goes longer (in the case of the 2019, 4 months longer) than the Roally but not nearly as long as the Bongran. Malolactic fermentation happens during this protracted primary fermentation. The wine is aged in tank for some months and, like the others, finishes with a few grams of residual sugar (4.8 g/liter in 2019). Sulfur use is sparing, including a touch at bottling, when the wine undergoes a light, non-sterile filtration. It is aged in bottle until release around three years after the harvest.