Last night I ordered a Thevenet wine to find out that there are two Thevenets, which doesn’t surprise me at all. In Burgundy there can be cousins with similar names, so you need to check carefully when asking for appointments in Burgundy. These wine makers are certainly cousins, Jean-Claude Thevenet is a third generation “vigneron” located in Maconnais.
There is Jean Thevenet with his Domiane Bongran an excellent winemaker, and Jean-Claude Thevenet, who produces a similar wine. Jean produces wine from Mâconnais, I visited his winery 21 years ago, and ever since I adored his wines, including his last harvest wine, special and limited.
When I ordered the Jean-Claude Thevenet last night, it was a wine I had not tasted. Given 2010 is such a great vintage the wine had the typical power of the vintage; a very distinctive minerality and a punch of ripe fruit with some milkiness.
What I found a little odd, is Jean-Claude uses what is referred to as kieselguhr filtration: a filtering material used to remove yeast and other particles to give the wine a crystal clear appearance.
It is widely used in filtering beer, this filtering material is a light soil consisting of siliceous diatom. This was the first time I had heard of this technique being used with wine, as it is common in beer making.
It is described here: the German word, Kieselgur : Kiesel, pebble (from Middle High German kisel, from Old High German chisil) + Gur, Guhr, ferment, earthy deposit from water (from gären, to ferment, blend of Middle High German jësan, from Old High German, and Middle High German *jern, to cause to ferment, from Old High German jerian; see yes- in Indo-European roots).
After checking it out on the internet there are claims it has arsenic poison:http://phys.org/news/2013-04-widely-filtering-material-arsenic-beers.html