As yesterday was #chardonnay day, vino della settimana had to be a chardonnay. To us, here at How To Wine Travel, just saying the word chardonnay is a strange thing. Yes, we do know it’s a grape, but we’re much more used to thinking about a, say, Mersault (vineyard and appellation named) or, say, Pomorosso (a name given to a wine by a winemaker). Consequently, the term “all-but-chardonnay”, or ABC for short, does not make sense either. Personally, a chardonnay which is not so much chardonnay as it is a Burgundy or a Rossj Bass, is preferred. In these cases the piece of land adds (e.g. “butter” in Mersault, flint/stone in Chablis, etc.) to the characteristics of the grape itself (rich, smokey). Off course one can add vanilla and toasted oak aromas to the wine, by the use of extensive use of new oak, but as that more often than not other overshadows terroir and grape nuances, we prefer those who has just enough that the oak-added elements does not become primary elements of the wine. Anyways, that’s just me.
The knack on white burgundies and top-of-the-line Italian chardonnays is the high price tag. On the second annual #chardonnay day yesterday, we thus decided to try a relatively cheap and widely available white from Burgundy. Criteria was the grape, and a quality producer. The answer was a 09 Macon-Verze from Domaine Leflaive.
Domaine Leflaive, was the second “great” Burgund winemaker to buy vineyards in Macon (they did so in 2004), following Comte-Armand. Headed by Anne-Claude Leflaive, Domaine Leflaive is one of the most respected wineries in Burgund, and probably also the world. Macon is the largest producing area of white wine in Burgundy, and mostly known for light, dry, and cheap everyday wines.
Leflaive’s 09 Macon-Verze is typically Leflaive in that is is forward, and fine textured. Apple and pineapple on the nose, with some hints of flint. Medium length, impressive freshness and concentration for a wine at this price (Macon + Leflaive name).
A good way to celebrate #chardonnay day, and an indication to all that making quality terroir-based white wines from the Chardonnay grape is possible outside the known pieces of land around Puligny- and Chassagne Montrachet.