He’s been called a “peerless winemaker” by France’s most influential wine critic, Michel Bettane, and a grower whose “tiny domaine is one the world’s pinnacles for Chardonnay.” The winemaker Bettane is referring to is Jean-Marie Guffens and the Domaine is that of Guffens-Heynen, based in the small village of Sologny in Burgundy’s beautiful Mâcon.
The Verget style? Winemaker Jean-Marie Guffens perhaps summed it up best when he told us; "I am Flemish, I love purity." In his watershed book, The New France, (Mitchell Beazley, 2002), Andrew Jefford described the Verget style in the following way; "Don't buy Verget wines looking for the kind of cheese paste, farm straw richness of traditional "funky" white burgundy; these are white wines made with the kind of ravishing purity, compelling sensual austerity more familiar among the greatest winemakers of the Saar, the Ruwer, or Alsace." We could not have put it better ourselves. In other words don't expect to smell the popcorn, smoke, sulphite & lees notes that are typical of so much white Burgundy. In fact, Guffens believes that lees stirring and sulphites are embellishments used in white Burgundy to disguise shortcomings (much as dosage and lees aging are used in Champagne). He therefore minimises his use of sulphur. He wants you to taste the fruit in all its purity.