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Domaine Sophie Cinier is small, just 2.33 hectares. All vineyards are around Fuissé, which is a 15-minute drive from Mâcon.
Sophie’s family estate produced its first wines in 2000, but her family on her mother’s side of the family has lived in Fuissé and been involved in wine production since at least the time of her grandfather. The vines were planted in 1941 and came under Sophie’s control in 1998.
There is a lovely range of different styles from this family estate. The vineyard area has recently expanded to a new vineyard of 1.2 hectares in Igé, 10 miles north of her home in Fuissé. It’s planted with a hectare of Chardonnay for two new wines, a Bourgogne Blanc and a Mâcon Villages Le Clos, and 0.2 ha is planted with Pinot Noir. Unlike the large parts of the Mâconnais where machine harvesting is the norm, Sophie’s vineyard work is entirely manual.
Next to the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation is the considerably smaller Pouilly-Vinzelles. While the former covers 761 hectares, the latter just covers 43 hectares and Sophie Cinier’s holdings there are tiny. The parcel that produces her Pouilly-Vinzelles, Les Longeays is just 0.13 ha.
In a good year she makes between 600 and 700 bottles, says Sophie Cinier. The vines were planted in 1905. Obviously not all vines have survived over the years. Some have been replanted. The parcel is mid-slope, facing east. There is clay and some limestone. The soil is very deep, more than two metres. The elevage is 18 to 24 months in barrels and she uses between 15 and 20 per cent of new oak.
The Sophie Cinier estate comprises of only three and a half hectares, where everything is done by hand. The vines are over 100 years old and the yields spend 18 months in oak.
The style is rich, textured and balanced with a lively, citrusy acidity. There are oaky notes but these sit in the background behind a weight of ripe fruit which gives a concentrated and long lasting flavour.