Couturier’s Saint-Véran La Cour des Bois is an electric, stunning wine made with fruit from 70 to 80-year-old vines at the very southern end of the appellation near the village of Chânes in Saint-Véran. This is an unusual site for the southern Mâconnais, being the remnants of a ridge of an ancient riverbed. La Cour des Bois is a small plateau with ancient alluvial soil and rolled galets. These soils are acidic sandy loam with a very acidic clay base. This particular terroir gives the wine an open, airy, and fresh character reminiscent of great Chablis.
The Pouilly-Loché comes from east-facing parcels with over 35-year-old chardonnay vines near the village of Loché. The vineyards are known for heavy clay calcareous soils with schist, which give wines of substance, grip, and longevity. Couturier wines from Pouilly-Loché are structured and serious, architectural and firm.
Pouilly-Loché Le Bourg comes from a tiny enclosed parcel of 80-year-old vines from a site in the village of Loché. Over time, soils tend to lose their calcareous elements as they dissolve. In some extreme cases, the soils become nearly pure, insoluble clay. This is the case in Le Bourg, a vineyard site that Couturier owns as a monopole. The 80-year-old vines here are afflicted with court-noué, a degenerative disease that doesn’t kill the vines but does weaken them, resulting in very low yields (45-50 hl/ha) and smaller grapes. This vineyard gives structured, concentrated wines with an outsized flavor impact and ability to age in bottle.
Pouilly-Loché Vieilles Vignes is a unique, limited cuvée from Couturier’s oldest chardonnay vines averaging 90 years old, from around the village of Loché. This is a complex, concentrated cuvée, only made in exceptional vintages with exceptional ageability; otherwise, it is blended into the village Pouilly-Loché.
Domaine Couturier also owns 0.5ha in the Premier Cru Clos Reyssié vineyard in the village of Chaintré, one of four villages that comprise Pouilly-Fuissé. The Couturier family has an intimate relationship with this vineyard, beginning with Marcel’s great-grandfather drawing the map for the original boundaries before they were revised in 2020. Clos Reyssié is a large lieu-dit of about eight hectares within Pouilly-Fuissé. East-facing, on a gently sloping hillside that is exposed to the rising sun, Clos Reyssié has deep, clay-rich soil with more rocks at the top of the slope. Domaine Couturier is one of just 12 producers who work parcels in the vineyard; their parcel lies towards the lower part of the slope, which is beneficial as many of the heavier clay elements get washed down from the top due to erosion. The eastern-facing aspect of the slope, along with the cooling influence of the clay, combine to allow the wine to keep a certain freshness, yielding wines that are rich and structured without being heavy or aromatically blowsy.
Their Clos Reyssié parcel in Chaintré is now combined with the lieu-dit Les Scellés in Fuissé, to produce their cuvée Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Scellés bottling. Despite the history of the Couturier family roots in Clos Reyssié, they lost the right to label their bottles as such when the boundaries for Clos Reyssié were redrawn in 2020 during Pouilly-Fuissé’s bid for Premier Cru status (which it received). Nevertheless, Clos Scellés is an even greater wine from blending the two complementary lieux-dits, which contain vines between 50 and 90 years old. Couturier’s grand, elegant Pouilly-Fuissé Clos Scellés is a direct reflection of the combination of fruit from the deep, clay-rich soil of Clos Reyssié and the shales of Les Scellés.
Domaine Couturier is now entering their prime with the family working in concert with the considerable experience of Marcel Couturier guiding them into the future. Many wineries rest on their laurels at this point in their journey, but not the Couturier family, where hard work and excellence are written into their DNA. Each year brings a new discovery, building on lessons learned, bringing them closer to their vision of excellence in southern Burgundy, all while never taking themselves too seriously, as the family remains incredibly humble and determined. Domaine Couturier is one of our founding partners from France, and in many ways, they provide the blueprint and inspire our continued work in the vineyards of their country.