The Bret brothers Jean-Guillaume and Jean-Philippe have been at the top of their game in the Mâconnais for a good ten years now, with the Domaine de la Soufrandière and their négociant under the Bret Brothers brand. Pure and digestible, delicious and easy-drinking wines.
Domaine de la Soufrandière in Vinzelles in the south of the Mâconnais was bought by A.J. Bret in 1947. At the time, the vineyard covered only one hectare. Over the years, more parcels were bought in the region (and the Beaujolais). Current owners Jean-Guillaume and Jean-Philippe arrived at the domain in 2000: the first vintage to be entirely vinified, matured and bottled on the estate.
The vines have been organically and biodynamically farmed since 2003 (certified in 2006). Apart from tilling and treatments, all of the work is done by hand so as to not harden the soils. In the winery, only indigenous yeasts are used in vinifications; the grapes are very gently pressed so as to respect the fruit as much as possible. Vinifications are natural and the wines are either matured in oak barrels or stainless-steel vats depending on the cuvées.
In 2001, Jean-Guillaume and Jean-Philippe created a négociant called Bret Brothers. The grapes are bought from micro-parcels of old vines tended by passionate winemakers on very specific terroirs. Harvests are carried out by hand by the Bret Brothers teams.
Meeting the brothers a few months ago gave us the chance to learn more about the domain: Jean-Guillaume and Jean-Philippe never stop questioning the work they do, and every year they push their philosophy to its limits. Recently, for example, they’ve changed the wax capsule on their bottles to a beeswax produced in the region.
This taut and lively wine is bursting with energy! It lends itself perfectly to an aperitif with tapas, goats’ cheese, or a leek tart.
Without a doubt Pouilly-Fuissé has the best terroirs in the Maconnais. This cuvée from the Bret Brothers is fruity with good mineral tension and a beautifully concentrated palate.
The Pouilly-Vinzelles from La Soufrandière is produced from two hectares of south-east facing plots with clay-limestone subsoil. The average age of the vines is over 35 years. As for all the domaine’s wines, harvesting is performed manually. The grapes are pressed in whole bunches; 70% of the harvest is vinified and élevaged for 11 months in stainless steel vats, the rest in Burgundy barrels (228-litre casks). The result is one of the appellation’s most complex wines. The bouquet produces white flower and candied lemon aromas. The palate is superb, with plenty of tension. There is a refined, saline minerality at the finish. A wine for drinking after 2-8 years’ aging.
This taut, mineral wine comes from an extensive terroir in Pouilly-Fuissé and enhances seasoned and spicy dishes to perfection.
This Clos Reyssie cuvee is rich and balanced. It pairs perfectly with shellfish, white meats and goats’ cheese. Its nose suggests aromas of fruit (dried fruit) and flowers. It has a very well-balanced palate with density, a pleasant texture and a very complex array of flavours. This magnificent Pouilly Fuissé can more than hold its own alongside the top terroirs in the Côte de Beaune.
This precise, taut and fresh wine from the Chaintré district is sensational with a seafood platter.