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Domaine de la Denante, Mâcon-La Roche-VineuseMâconnais, Burgundy, France 2020 (750mL)

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Domaine de la Denante, Mâcon-La Roche-Vineuse Mâconnais, Burgundy, France 2020 (750mL)

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Alcohol

You couldn’t ask for a more evocative name for a winegrowing village, especially a Burgundian winegrowing village, than “La Roche-Vineuse”—which translates as “vinous rock.” Who wouldn’t want to drink a wine grown in vinous rock? 


According to the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), the town formerly known as Saint-Saturnin was officially renamed La Roche-Vineuse in 1908, as a “clear declaration of its strengths and vocation.” It’s one of the 27 villages that can be cited as an “additional geographical denomination” on a bottle of Mâcon wine, and, like its immediate neighbor, Verzé, it's also one of the most prestigious. Add a transcendent talent like Damien Martin to this historically important terroir and the result is fireworks: Domaine de la Denante’s 2020 Mâcon-La Roche-Vineuse. This explosive Chardonnay is the latest wine to completely upend the conventional wisdom on the wines of the Mâcon. With its dramatic limestone escarpments and its growing list of organic growers, one could argue that the Mâconnais is the most dynamic region in Burgundy right now, and Domaine de la Denante is right on the leading edge. Martin is a Chardonnay master, crafting no fewer than nine Chardonnay cuvées from Saint-Véran, Pouilly-Fuissé, and an assortment of Mâcon hyphenates. In our experience, each new wine we taste from him is better than the one before, and the prices are incredible. This is destination white Burgundy at a down-market price.



Domaine de la Denante is based in the village of Davayé, within the Saint-Véran AOC, and while the largest percentage of the estate’s production is Saint-Véran, Martin has expanded the family’s vineyard holdings since coming onboard in 2010. His father, Robert, founded the domaine in 1975, naming it for a stream that runs through Davayé, with just 2.5 hectares; today, their vineyard holdings total 12 hectares, all of them organically farmed sites in the heart of the Mâcon. In La Roche-Vineuse, a town wedged between the two landmark limestone cliffs of the region—the famed “rocks” of Vergisson and Solutré—Martin’s vines average 45 years of age and burrow into some of the purest limestone marl in Burgundy. This may be well south of the Côte de Beaune and Burgundy’s Chardonnay epicenter in Meursault/Puligny/Chassagne, but from a terroir perspective, it hardly suffers by comparison. Yes, most Mâcon whites are rounder and sunnier than their Côte de Beaune cousins (some even leaning toward New World levels of ripeness), but Martin has a knack for preserving the tension we all crave in great white Burgundy.


Today’s 2020 was fermented in batches in an assortment of vessels—stainless steel tanks as well as barriques and larger demi-muid barrels—after which it was blended and aged on its lees for six months in barrel. There is undoubtedly some nice Mâconnais flesh here, but it is lifted by a wave of racy acidity and a chalky vein of minerality. In the glass, it shines a bright straw-gold with silver/green highlights, jumping from the glass with scents of green apple, underripe white peach, lemon curd, brioche dough, white flowers, and wet stones. It is opulent and medium-bodied, finishing with citrusy zip, and should continue to evolve over the next 3-5 years. There’s quite a lot to recommend it now, however, so splash-decant it and serve at 45-50 degrees in all-purpose stems. It’s got the stuffing for a buttery roast chicken or a lobster bisque, so start pulling corks right away. It’s one of the best under-$30 white Burgundies we’ve come across in a while. Cheers!




Domaine de la Denante, Mâcon-La Roche-Vineuse Mâconnais, Burgundy, France 2020 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy / Mâconnais
  • Sub-RegionMâcon-La Roche-Vineuse
  • SoilLimestone Marl
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendChardonnay
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakNeutral Barriques & Demi-Muids
  • Service Temp.45-50° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkNow-2025
  • Decanting10 Minutes
  • PairingLobster Bisque

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy / Mâconnais
  • Sub-RegionMâcon-La Roche-Vineuse
  • SoilLimestone Marl
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendChardonnay
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakNeutral Barriques & Demi-Muids
  • Temp.Serve at 45-50° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2025
  • Decanting10 Minutes
  • PairingLobster Bisque