Viré-Clessé, a safe bet in the family of white Burgundy wines
In the south of Burgundy, two villages in the Mâconnais joined forces in 1998 to create a new communal appellation: Viré-Clessé. The white wines of this AOC of Burgundy confirm this official recognition by their aromatic power, their richness and their beautiful balance. Alongside the famous wines of the "Pouilly" family and Saint-Véran, the wines of the Viré-Clessé appellation are also among the safe and seductive values of the Mâconnais.
General presentation of Viré-Clessé
The AOC Viré-Clessé takes its name from the two communes of the Mâconnais where it is produced, Viré and Clessé. Two other villages are part of this Burgundy appellation: Montbellet and Laizé. The production area of Viré-Clessé is located between Tournus and Mâcon, in the southern part of the Burgundy vineyards. It covers less than 400 hectares and honours the white grape variety par excellence of the region, the Chardonnay.
This AOC is a Village appellation of Burgundy. It does not have any Climats classified as Premier Cru, probably because of its recent creation. Nevertheless, it offers great white wines of quality, just like the other AOC communal crus of the Mâconnais: saint-véran, pouilly-vinzelles, pouilly-loché and the famous pouilly-fuissé.
On the label of a bottle of Viré-Clessé, the words "Vin de Mâcon" or "Grand Vin de Mâcon" may appear. This AOC is in fact the first to date of the Village appellations resulting from the vast AOC Mâcon Village. The name of the Climat or lieu-dit from which the wine originates may also be mentioned.
Characteristics of Viré-Clessé
The white wines of the Viré-Clessé appellation have a brilliant and limpid colour. It is a pale gold colour, sometimes called "ashy", with slightly green highlights. A Viré-Clessé generally offers an aromatic bouquet of white flowers, led by acacia and hawthorn, to which honeysuckle, rose, lemongrass and broom may be added. The fruit also reveals itself on the nose: apricot, peach and pear. This rich palette can become even more complex when it invites mentholated notes as well as hints of pine, fern, verbena, almond and even quince jam.
The Viré-Clessé are powerful and ample wines, tender and fruity; they are also marked by the minerality typical of the Mâconnais region as well as a pleasant sweetness due to the grapes harvested at maturity.
These white wines can be drunk young, preferably in their first 5-6 years.
How to taste a Viré-Clessé
Lively, fresh and charming, the white wines of the Viré-Clessé appellation are recommended for the aperitif. A glass of this Burgundy wine is perfect with tapas based on Iberian ham, smoked anchovies or salmon.
It is also a wine of choice to accompany tender meats such as veal. It is also a natural match for fish and seafood, as well as poultry and white meats, especially when cooked with cream. Finally, a viré-clessé goes well with spicy dishes inspired by Asian cuisine.
On the cheese side, it is with soft cheeses with a bloomy or washed rind that Viré-Clessé is ideal, a Camembert or Epoisses from Burgundy for example. It also goes well with goat's cheese. Finally, for dessert, marry it with a fruit tart: pear, apricot, white peach...
To enjoy it at the right temperature, serve it at about 13°.