MCF Rare Wine
Domaine Ferret Returns!
(to my shelves, that is...)
I have a long, long relationship with these wines.
When I worked at my Uncle's shop in CT, we enthusiastically sold these to anyone who'd listen, emphatically reassuring them that, even though they were Pouilly-Fuisse, they were some of the most lovely White Burgundies on the market.
When I opened MCF in 2010, magnums of the 1999 Les Menetrieres were part of the opening day inventory. Emily and I drank the last one with our friends Dan & Sarah on New Year's Day in celebration of the first day off I'd had in months... ;)
Soon after, though, they were purchased by Jadot, and since I'd not had a great relationship with their new distributor, they mostly fell off my radar, except for the few remaining wines that Rosenthal had to offer, which I slowly helped deplete.
Enter earlier this year, when my friend Kurt, National Manager for Jadot came by to discuss a few things. He reached into his bag and pulled out a few bottles with the unmistakable Ferret label on them and my eyes lit up.
'Ferret!' I said, excitedly. 'I'd almost forgotten they were with Jadot now. How are they?'
'I have to be honest,' he replied. 'I think they're better than ever. Audrey Braccini is still in charge and has full autonomy. Jadot is completely hands off on the winemaking and let's her do things her way.'
We tasted through the wines and...well...I was quickly 100% on board with his take. The precision, the stoniness, the flowery, ethereal, supple expression of Chardonnay was, well, better than I ever recalled from a young Ferret. They were so clean, and so eloquent...but never too verbose, as always.
Kurt asked me to give him my requests as soon as possible, because demand, as always, was high.
I quickly blurted out some preposterous numbers, hoping that I'd end up with a fraction of what I requested.
He then invited me to a sit down tasting with Audrey a few days later. To be perfectly honest, I don't recall most of the info that Audrey communicated that morning (not because I wasn't paying attention, but because there was a lot to remember), but I do recall that Madame Ferret was tireless in her efforts to free people of their notions of Pouilly-Fuisse's quality, and that she led the charge in classifying the vineyards, a process which still continues today.
I also recall that Audrey's part of an unbroken chain of female winemakers at Ferret that dates back nearly 180 years...which is incredible.
I for sure remember that we tasted probably a dozen wines, with vintages dating back into the aughts, and they were all lovely, reminding me of just how amazingly well these wines age.
Most of all, though, I remember Audrey's unbridled enthusiasm & energy, something you can't miss in the wines, either. Like their maker, the wines are ebullient and they're rigorous, and they deserve to be on the short list of anyone who loves lively, age-worthy white wines...especially Chardonnay...and most especially Burgundy.
Cracking open the first case was like seeing an old friend for the first time in forever...in other words, it was a very welcomed sight...
Pouilly-Fuisse Clos des Prouges Tete de Cuvée 2017
The 'Prouges' is one of the 'Tete de Cuvée' wines, Madame Ferret's version of 1er Cru. This is the most generous of the bunch, with lovely, flowery/citric elements to the riper, but very clean Chardonnay fruit. Despite its slightly weightier profile, there's plenty of energy on the finish.
Pouilly-Fuisse Tournant de Pouilly Hors Classe 2017
The 'Hors Classe' designation is reserved for the very top vineyards in the Ferret holdings, what they consider their Grands Crus. As is typical, in '17 the Tournant occupies the perfect middle ground between Prouges's textured weight and Menetrieres's chiseled focus. The citrusy nuances build across the palate with hints of exotic aromatic nuances at the edges. The vein of focused acidity offers great tension.
Pouilly-Fuisse Les Menetrieres Hors Classe 2017
Les Menetrieres, always a favorite of mine, is the racy, edgy, taut athlete of this trio, and one that sends White Burg classicists swooning. It's got so much aromatic lift, so much structure, so much mineral-driven focus, all in such an elegantly restrained profile. It's everything you want from a glass of Chardonnay...or at least everything I want...especially considering the prices that top Cote de Beaune whites fetch these days.
You may order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212.255.8870.
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011