Burgundy, France

Alexandre Jouveaux

Combarnier 2020


Combarnier 2020
Burgundy, France

A beautiful Chardonnay from a parcel of thirty year old vines planted over clay and limestone some 320 metres above sea level at the top of Uchizy. The grapes were pressed directly and aged in old foudres for a year, and reflecting the vintage this is already incredibly impressive. Whistle clean, it is all citrus and stones, with plenty of acid and drive.



Over the past two decades Alexandre Jouveaux has made himself a name for producing one of a kind expressions of Chardonnay from a tiny cellar in the Mâconnais.

Alexandre’s story is well known. In the mid nineties he left his job as a successful fashion photographer in Paris with the dream of settling in the countryside and making the kind of wines he liked to drink. As he was allergic to sulphites, most Burgundy was off limits to him and he has bottled his wines without additives from his first vintage at the turn of the millennium.

He lives with his wife Maryse Chatelin of Domaine des Fauvettes in the village of Uchizy and farms two and half hectares of old vineyards spread across tiny parcels both near the village and elsewhere in Mâcon. Alexandre prefers to work in remote parcels surrounded by forest and focuses on retaining as diverse an ecosystem as possible amongst the vines. The soils are predominantly limestone, which lends the wines their hallmark notes of citrus and stones.

In the cellar, he exercises a deft hand and great patience. The grapes are pressed directly to old foudres where the wines remain untouched, resting on their lees until he deems them ready. When the time comes they are bottled by gravity, directly from the casks.

Whilst he sometimes produces a small cuvée of Gamay and Pinot Noir, he is best known for his work with Chardonnay. In their youth, these chiselled, crystalline expressions of the grape possess an incredible amount of energy, manifested in remarkable drive and a long, lingering line of acidity. Intensely mineral, these are true vins de garde that reward patience and are best enjoyed after some time to rest in the cellar, slowly and over several hours.

Made in tiny quantities, these are some of the most thrilling wines we have tried.