The domaine’s “basic” Saint-Véran is made from 40-50 year old vines. Thomas uses only the clearest juice from the pressing. Fermentation begins with the native yeasts and lasts for about 10 days; the temperature in the tanks is not allowed to exceed 22C. Full malolactic fermentation follows immediately after the first phase. The wine is vinified and aged solely in stainless steel tanks on its fine lees (without any active stirring) for 7 months. It is fined when necessary, with bentonite, and lightly filtered. It bursts with ripe and energetic green apple and citrus flavors and has a long and bright finish. Focus, clarity and intensity of fruit are the hallmark of Thomas’ wines.
About the Producer
The domaine, created in 1934, now extends over 20 hectares on southwest-facing slopes, mostly in the Saint-Véran appellation town of Prissé. The Thomas family has been estate-bottling the majority of their production since 1987, specializing in Saint-Véran. Owner and winemaker Lucien Thomas seeks the fullest, pure and focused expression of fruit and terroir. His wines have been regularly acclaimed by the critics for their focus, purity and intensity. As early as 2004, The Wine Spectator did a full page feature profile on Lucien Thomas, applauding his exceptional technique and the elegant and pure style of his wines.
Thomas produces his Saint-Véran wines from 16 hectares of old Chardonnay vines planted on a remarkable, single-block, south-west facing amphitheater vineyard. This privileged, very sunny and heat-retaining location allows the grapes to attain perfect ripeness and concentrated flavors. The ideal soil is a stony, fast-draining mix of limestone and clay. Thomas plows his vineyards, prunes severely (vines are trained in the Guyot simple way) and uses organic fertilizer only if needed. He further controls yields by cluster-thinning and green harvesting. He harvests by hand and the grapes enter the winery by gravity. After a gentle pneumatic pressing, the juice is allowed to clarify in tank at low temperature to become as clear as possible before the start of the alcoholic fermentation with the native yeasts.
Video: take a tour with Lucien Thomas!