Clos de Mez is a small estate producing from just 5 hectares of vines, those in Fleurie are located not far from the chapel of La Madone in Fleurie, which is visible from the front courtyard looking north up the very steep hill. Owned and run by Marie-Elodie Zighera-Confuron, who inherited these beautiful old vineyards from her grand-mother which had been passed down through the family for generations and where she had spent time growing up as a child. Marie-Elodie made her first vintage in 2006 after studying viticulture and oenology in Dijon and Montpellier and working for experience at Chateau de la Tour in Clos Vougeot among other places. Marie-Elodie is married to the owner of the famous 3 star Vosne-Romanee estate of Confuron-Cotetidot and she splits her time between the 2 estates.
Just three wines are produced from this small estate which was converted to organic viticulture in 2016. The style of wines produced here is very distinct with the Mademoiselle M cuvee being made in a very vibrant expressive and slurpable style that begs for early consumption for the pure enjoyment of Gamay at its prettiest and most elegant. Made in a semi-carbonic style this is made for early enjoyment while waiting for the other cuvees to become ready. The Fleurie La Dot and Morgon Chateau Gaillard cuvees are both made a very cellar-worthy and more structured style which goes very well with the food of the region - very ‘gourmand’ in style. These latter 2 cuvees have been inspired by Marie-Elodies experience of a 1911 Morgon which she tasted many years ago and which inspired her to make wines like that which would last and evolve for many decades in a good cool cellar. La Dot refers to the inheritance her grand-mother gained - and so that patch of 50 year old vines goes to produce this cuvee, while the Morgon Chateau Gaillard comes from the lieu-dit of the same name which has 80 year old vines. These are both barrel aged (no new barrels) for up to 50% of the wine with 9 months elevage before blending with the tank matured parcel for another 12 months before bottling and resting another 12 months before release. Hence the La Dot and Chateau Gaillard cuvees are always released much later than the Mademoiselle M cuvee.
THE DOMAIN’S FINE WINES
Clos de Mez makes two wines in the appellations of Fleurie and Morgon. The average age of vines in these plots is 45 years old. To the north of the winegrowing area, the Fleurie appellation outlines a hilly landscape. Vines follow the contours of the slopes of Fût d’Avenas, the mountain passes of Durbize, Labourons and Raymont Peak. As a culminating point, Madonna Hill offers an exceptional panorama view across the appellation. It came into existence in 1936 and this appellation stretches solely across the village from which it takes its name. Legend recounts that a Roman legionary once passed through here, leaving his name to the site and to the village. Our vines in Fleurie are found in the southern part of the appellation, bordering Morgon. Facing South/South-East, they stand at an altitude of about 300 metres. The soils of Fleurie La Dot and Fleurie Mademoiselle M, which originate from acid rock, are deep and provide good drainage. Rosecoloured granite is widely predominant here and is found in the form sand called saprolite.
MY VINE GROWING
I want to produce wines of great clarity and purity. To achieve this, my work in the vineyard consists of encouraging a maximum number of exchanges between the vine and its environment. Working the soils has been done since I took over in 2006. All the vine growing work set up at the domain aims to strengthen the vitality and hardiness of the vines. The grapes’ energy must be conveyed in my wines. This is why, logically, the domain has been gradually converting to organic methods since 2016. I could not have embarked upon this process before, because I considered it essential to proceed step by step. The vines needed to be prepared for such major changes and so did I! The first wines certified as organic will be produced for the 2018 vintage.
2017 Fleurie Mademoiselle M
Produced from gnarled old goblet pruned vines grown on decomposed sandy pink granite and made from painfully low yields in 2017 of just 15 hl/ha. Winemaking is semi-carbonic with no de-stemming and ageing in vats for up to 9 months after pressing to retain the perfume and freshness of pure Gamay. Born in 2015, Mademoiselle embodies with her letter M, a lot of the soul of the domain: the beginning of MEZ, the name of my daughter Maguelone, the story of Fleurie and her Madonna. A desire of gluttony has given birth to it so that the M also at first sight and the first sip. Mademoiselle M, candid and spontaneous, is the silly little sister of the serious La Dot and Château Gaillard, with restraint and righteousness.
For this wine, we do things in a very hands-off way, intervening very little. Winemaking with whole grape bunches; semi-carbonic fermentation in vats only. The wine retains its fresh, fruity character; it is bottled after 9 months of maturation, in vats.
’A stunning array of ripe, brambly red berries on the nose with a gently flinty, reductive edge. The palate is succulent, juicy and smoothly engineered. Riper tannins here, too. Drink now. 90’ JamesSuckling.com February 2019