Saturday, July 27, 2013

Burgundy's Best White Wine Values


Cote de Beaune whites, particularly from Meursault, Chassagne, and Puligny, are frighteningly expensive these days, as entry level village wines often start at $50. Thankfully, the Mâconnais region, south of the Cote de Beaune, allows us to have our white Burgundy fix at a price that's easier to swallow.

The Mâcon terroir is ideal for Chardonnay, where the hilly terrain consists of limestone bedrock overlaid with clay. This is why white Burgundy icons Domaine Leflavie and Dominique Lafon have established outposts in the Mâconnais, impressed with the potential and, perhaps, terrified that brilliant white Burgundies here go for just around $20.

My favorite Mâconnais producers include Jean Rijckaert, who's been making some of the best Mâcon whites since 1990 with his former partner at Verget, Jean-Marie Guffens. In 1998 Rijckaert and his wife, Regine, established their own Mâconnais estate and micro-negoce, producing both Mâcon and Jura whites. Their Mâcon wines are some of the most distinctive in the region, imbued with a Jura character. How this happens, I'm not sure, but perhaps making both Jura and Mâcon wines in their cellar result into some kind of cross-pollination in the wines!

Olivier Merlin is one of the greatest producers in the Mâconnais and for me in all of Burgundy. He makes Mâcon wines with unbelievable depth and longevity. He was Lafon's inspiration for moving into the region.


Vire-Clisse "Epinet", Jean Rijckaert 2009 $24.00 (click to buy!)


Mâcon-Villages, Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon 2011 $20.00 (click to buy!)


Pouilly-Fuisse, Olivier Merlin 2008 $28.00 (click to buy!)

1 comment:

  1. This is perfect too for those just getting into wine, adjusting to the taste. I have made a few like this and love them. Haven't used blueberries though, will have to try.

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