Domaine Barraud, Saint-Véran “Les Pommards”
Domaine Barraud, Saint-Véran “Les Pommards”

Domaine Barraud, Saint-Véran “Les Pommards”

Burgundy / Mâconnais, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$36.00
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Domaine Barraud, Saint-Véran “Les Pommards”

“I will say it again: no one makes better wine in the Mâconnais than Barraud.” Those are the words of Allen Meadows, among the most battle-tested Burgundy tasters of modern times. While that alone should be enough to tip the scales of intrigue, I have some of my own comments for those who swoon over premium white Burgundy but are reluctant to spend $80+ on a Côte de Beaune bottle.

First of all, you are not alone. That’s a large expenditure for a single bottle of wine, and opening one that underwhelms is a quick and expensive way to ruin an evening. Ironically, some would still call today’s Mâconnais offering a “splurge,” but to me, it’s one of the finest bargains imaginable for seriously world-class Chardonnay. Even if you’ve trained yourself to only buy the Holy Trinity of Puligny, Chassagne, and Meursault, please temporarily suspend that rule and introduce yourself to one of the greatest $40-drinks-like-$80 bottles of white Burgundy around. Cheers!

The Mâconnais is a splattering of noncontiguous Burgundy vineyards between Beaujolais (to the south) and the Côte Chalonnaise (to the north), and within you’ll likely recognize two of its most prized winemaking villages: Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Véran. There is something special about Saint-Véran. At the crossroads of two ancient coral reefs, the Rock of Solutré and the Rock of Vergisson, the soils are dominated by limestone in this part of southern Burgundy. The best wines have a cold rush of white stone, textured yellow fruits, and sea-salt greens that misleads my palate to places like Saint-Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet. Certified Organic Domaine Barraud is a master of this do-good trickery, making mineral-etched Chardonnay from what might be the greatest white wine terroir south of the Côte de Beaune. 

For those who know this region deeply, “Les Pommards,” is not some random vineyard: It is arguably the best site of Saint-Véran, sitting just east of the grand Roche de Solutré. The vineyard, next to an old quarry, is pure limestone with a thin top-soil band of clay; it’s a museum of fossilized sea shells, every little groove and dip leaving its singular essence in the final wine. The Barraud’s parcel has a vine age of 40 years, and their vines face an unusual, cooler northeast direction, keeping flavors crisp and not overly round. Daniel Barraud and his son, Julien, are making organic, pristine expressions of Chardonnay that puts them, as Burghound states, “at the very top of the list” among the countless growers in the Mâconnais.  

Hand-harvested, the Chardonnay from “Les Pommards” is pressed “full-cluster” i.e. with the berries intact with their stems. This technique encourages the stems to gently prick the berries, releasing the purest, least manipulated juice. From there, the juice settles overnight and flows via gravity into French barrels, approximately 20% new, to ferment with its natural yeasts. The wine ages one year in oak and then rests in steel for two months to soften its edges. It is bottled without fining and without filtration.

Serve this wine with a slight chill and use a Burgundy stem. In the glass, the core is star-bright, a pale straw, moving to a greenish straw, watery rim. The first sense on the nose is cold creamy earth, salted lime, white flowers, and poached yellow fruits. Bass notes of warm baking spice and nuts emerge in the background and further deepen the richly textured palate. A simple whole-roasted fish craves a perfectly balanced Chardonnay like “Les Pommards,” and there is no better place to eat simple meals than at home. So, take a cue from Daniel and Julien Barraud—be modest in the kitchen, and let the finest ingredients shine! 

Domaine Barraud, Saint-Véran “Les Pommards”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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