Jean-Marie Guffen's Maison Verget wines always over deliver. They offer unmatched value-for-money white burgundy. I've been drinking these wines with a loyal affection for their consistency and purity since studying Oenology in Adelaide with Patrick nearly 20 years ago. So this marks a good place to start a little P Johnson wine guide.

P Johnson Wine review: Verget Mâcon-Bussières 'Vignes de Montbrison' 2014


The lesser thought-of southern arm of the Burgundy region (towards Lyon) has some remarkable micro and meso-terrior that should not be overlooked (Santenay, Mercurey, Rully, Macon, Pouilly-Fuissé). Guffens has mastered this zone with Chardonnay wines that have a destinct purity akin to that of a German Riesling. Guffen's says "I am Flemish, I love purity" (me too, along with freshness, the key to all good foodstuffs really!). This wine like many of Guffen's is hermetically sealed under screwcap and there is no better closure to retain such clarity of fruit flavour. The 2014 vintage is perhaps unsurpassed for white wine quality in the region which makes life a little easier in winemaking. None-the-less the wine has complexity of fruit character, not from over-mastery of the wine but instead a careful restraint in handling. So what you taste is very much a concise expression of Chardonnay at that place and at that time of harvest. Such a lovely idea, and such a great wine for it's price area (about $40). The acidity 'sings' and powers through the palate like a fresh nectarine and pinches and tingles like grapefruit. Truly delicious and mouth-whettingly dry. It finishes with a complicating and morish almond-like nuttiness due to the 5 years under the belt.

No doubt Guffen's whole range of 17's will be in a similar league to the '14s. Santé!

Tom Riley