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Ami, Maranges Premier Cru 'La Fussiere' 2016
This is a powerful yet hands-off Burgundy from the Maranges appellation made by two friends ('ami' is friend in French), Willy and Paul. When it opens up, there are dark berries, cherries, chocolate and spice on the nose. On the palate there is fresh soil and steely minerality too. The Premier Cru La Fussiere has great structure with prominent tannins that soften with time.
Ami's vineyards are in the process of transitioning to organic farming. In the cellar, Willy vinifies the grapes using ambient yeasts, and without temperature control. This requires a high level of attention to detail. Without temperature control, there is no set formula, and so each year it is different, and decisions are made depending on the situation. The Pinot Noirs macerate for around 10-15 days - the first 4 days they are left untouched, so it is slightly carbonic. Willy then does gentle pigeage and remontage, before the wines finally go into old barrels (he never uses new oak). After a year, the wines go into tank to settle for a month before being bottled. The other reason for this is that without temperature control, the cellar temperature can rise to 18-19 degrees, increasing the risk of volatile acidity and other unwanted attributes. Moving the wine to tank is cooler which means they don’t need to use as many sulphites; there are no additions except for 10-30 ppm SO2 just prior to bottling. The wines are neither fined nor filtered. Willy aims for zero SO2, but it depends on the year and how the wines are developing - quality takes first priority.
AMI is a project of two good friends, Paul Marchand-Perarnau and Willy Roulendes. After having cut his teeth at the famous Domaine de Montille, Willy took charge of the wines of Clos du Moulin. His wealth of experience has given him a deep knowledge of the terroirs of the Cote de Beaune. Paul is the gentleman farmer. Having been trained in the art of tasting in London and Paris, he is the link between the city and the countryside. His passion for wines of character led him to work with talented winemakers such as Oronce de Beler and Dominique Hauvette. The pair own roughly 2.5ha of vines, and also purchase around 2.5ha worth of organic grapes from friends in various villages throughout the Cote-d'Or, Beaujolais and Chablis.
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