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Viré-Clessé

Viré-Clessé was recognised as an appellation in 1998 and was launched a year later. It is the first village appellation to be formed from outstanding terroirs within the AOC Mâcon-Villages. Viré and Clessé are two communes in southern Burgundy, lying between Tournus and Mâcon. Because the wines of the two villages closely resemble each other in style, it was decided to form them into a single appellation, although the terroirs included in it were subjected to a rigorous selection process. Viré and Clessé also produce wines of the appellations Mâcon, Bourgogne and Mâcon Villages. The names Mâcon-Viré and Mâcon-Clessé have not been in use since 2002.

The Viré-Clessé appellation consists of two hill slopes running north to south between the valleys of the Bourbonne and the Mouge. The rocks are fossiliferous Bajocien limestones and Jurassic (Oxfordian) strata of marly-limestone. Other soils at the foot of the slopes are clays containing sandstone pebbles known as chailles. They are well-drained and east-facing. Also found here are soils containing white limestone pebbles typical of the Mâconnais and known as cray. It is the best soil for the Chardonnay grape. Altitudes are between 200-440 metres.

The colour of Viré-Clessé is a pale but brilliant gold, somewhere between white-gold and yellow, in some cases with greenish highlights. The nose makes an immediate and pleasant impression with a bouquet of mayflowers or acacia, springtime honeysuckle, and broom, together with notes of lemon balm, white peach, verbena, and mint or bracken. As the wine ages, quince jam and pine make their appearance. Lively and fresh, with a slight edge and yet well-rounded, this wine is a reliable introduction to the Mâconnais whites. It is delicate and supple and has a tender and spontaneous side with a touch of nervosity which does it no harm.

Initially Viré-Clessé brings the palate to life with its minty notes, and even more so by its pleasingly straightforward and rather lively approach. For this reason, tender meats in sauce - veal for example - do it justice, since its vivacity adds depth to the food. Its aromatic intensity is also suited to poultry, crustaceans, and sautéed vegetables. Viré-Clessé is also the perfect partner for cooked seafood. Cheeses in the style of Camembert will be set off by its slight sharpness, and goat cheeses will also make ideal companions.
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