Olivier Merlin is one of the Mâconnais’ new breed of modern winemakers, helping to catapult this mediocre region up the league chart. Just north of the village of Fuissé lies the village of La Roche Vineuse. A small road up the village will take you to the new cellars of southern burgundy’s most talented winemaker. Originally, Olivier owned only a few hectares at his domaine, Vieux St. Sorlin. Seven years ago, he combined the grapes produced at his domaine with those under his control from leased vineyards. The quality of wine available for sale is still small but at least we can get some. We visited for five consecutive years with no luck until he finally conceded a few cases! This is the finest source of Mâcon Rouge. The vines are very old and will not be replaced with Gamay, so this wine will not be produced forever. More’s the pity.
Terroir; Quaternary limestone-clay soil (middle bathonian)
Planting density; 8,000 vines per hectare
picking by handing
Vinification; Grapes sorted first on a vibrating table and then on a hand sorting table.
100% destemmed before vatting. Vinification in open wooden vats with cap-punching morning nad evening. Vatting last 13 days, followed by pressing. Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels for 40% of the cuvee and the remaining 60% in closed wooded vats.
After 8 months elevage in wood, the wine is racked, lightly filtered and bottles. No finings.