Pernand-Vergelesses white first growth Sous-Frétille shares a lot of characteristics with the Corton-Charlemagne grand cru. With cold soil and found very high on the slope, the wine is very minerally, a touch austere and very tense on its final. The Clos Berthet, another first growth and the monopoly of the Dubreuil-Fontaine estate, has more flesh. Fruits give the impression of more ripeness. Citruses and especially grapefruit and lemon are very recognizable, and exotic fruits complete the aromas. River fish are a good choice.
Pernand-Vergelesses is a medium-sized appellation at about 500 acres with about one-third of the area classified in first growth. Minimum natural degree of alcohol requirements are the same as in Chassagne-Montrachet, as are also the yields. Yields are 18 hectoliters per acre in white and 16 in red. Red villages have to reach a minimum of 10.5 degrees of alcohol, and 11 for the white village. 11.5 minimum is required for a first growth. Pernand is a very sweet spot of the coast, a little gem hidden by the mountain. As in so many places in Burgundy, not much has changed there in the last 500 years.
The Ile des Vergelesses is the greatest of the five red first growths of the village.
Reds are clayey, earthy, and often tannic when they are young. They age ten years and more easily, the dominant fruit is the raspberry. Roasted birds are a good bet.