"Traditional" is a buzzword often in Burgundian winemaking - producers "returning to their roots" - which is incredibly commendable, given the amount of chemicals that were in use during the mid-to-late 20th century. Clos des Vignes du Maynes never wavered from the tradition, and is thought to be the oldest continually, organically-farmed winery in France; the property in the Mâconnais has been under vine for 1100 years! Julien Guillot is determined to keep the tradition of his property; everything is performed by hand, with no additions throughout the vine-growing or winemaking processes. Even the vine material is sourced entirely from his property where he's long practiced biodynamic methods. All of these factors combine to create wildly flavorful, transparent wines - meaning, no tricks, no secret additions or material added; purity.
Of course, the Mäcon wines from the home vineyard attract the most attention such as John's pick of the Mäcon Selection Massale, along with some fantastic whites. Take the Mäcon-Cruzille Cuvée Aragonite, from a low-yielding section atop the Clos du Vignes du Maynes, producing a beautiful balance of density and crystalline minerality.
Julien is also doing wonders both with purchased fruit from his friends in Beaujolais, like the Morgon Les Charmes - grapes from a longtime friend who also practices biodynamics in his old-vine plots. 100% Gamay undergoes a semi-carbonic maceration where a portion of the grapes are not pressed, and are allowed to ferment while still whole. This generates a gorgeous, lifted tart berry and floral tone, and after a year in neutral barrel develops a soft texture to complement the natural energy of the wine. Let this breathe in the glass, and watch as that energy unfolds into a brilliant wine in the mold of "Traditional" Red Burgundy.
For a fun, refreshing treat, try the Megamix, Vol. 2 - Gamay, Pinot Noir and Muscat co-fermented, semi-carbonic à la Beaujolais, and finished without any addition of sulfur. There are no tricks - no additions or subtractions; you taste the pink granite and limestone, the harmony of the three grapes bringing softness and lift. Ultimately, a wine you will fully understand as you finish the last sip!