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Do you love white Burgundy, or Chardonnay in general? Then get ready to put the pedal to the metal because our limited allocation of Mâcon-Villages from Héritières du Comtes Lafon just arrived, and we expect it to fly. The iconic Dominique Lafon, who’s considered one of the world’s best white wine producers, has been overseeing his passion project in the Mâcon for over two decades now, and the wines this biodynamic estate produces are among the world’s best values in top-tier Chardonnay. Very few of the tip-top, blue-chip winemakers today make wines that are priced for everyday consumption, so this is a rare opportunity to taste the brilliance of a master artisan without forking over hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a bottle. Indeed, you can enjoy Lafon mastery for less than $30, and, if you are lightning fast, grab a full case for an extra 10% off. Vroom!
When, in 1985, Dominique Lafon took the helm at Domaine du Comtes Lafon, he quickly gained widespread acclaim for his preternatural abilities to coax the utmost magic out of each parcel of vines. In less than a decade, he took a good estate with excellent holdings in some of the best terroirs of the Côte de Beaune and elevated it to one of the most prestigious wine addresses on the planet. Based in Meursault, Chardonnay is the focus and his true claim to fame. In essenc,e only his neighbors Jean-Marc Roulot and Jean-François Coche are in the same league when it comes to white Burgundy. They are the holy trinity of Chardonnay, and their wines fetch prices accordingly! But that is where Dominique’s vision and ambition diverge from the obvious path, and it is why he went south, to the Mâcon, to establish “Les Héritières” in 1999.
The beautiful, rolling hills of the Mâcon mark the unofficial southern border of Burgundy production. It is here where the limestone belt that begins in Champagne ends and granite takes over as you enter Beaujolais. Mâconnais terroir is remarkably similar to the much more famous, and costly, vineyards to the north, but for decades it has suffered from a reputation for industrial production and wines meant for mass consumption in bistros or on grocery store shelves. Dominique knew that the potential for quality here was being overlooked: Indeed 100 years ago a white Mâcon or Pouilly-Fuissé would have been considered on par with villages wine from Meursault or Puligny (check out Hemingway's A Moveable Feast for evidence of this). The trick was finding the best terroirs, which he did, and then converting all the vineyards to biodynamic farming, which he also did.
Fast-forward 20 years and the wines of Les Héritières du Comte Lafon have ushered in a true renaissance of quality and investment in the Mâcon. There are dozens of excellent wines from a range of talented producers to choose from, but of course Dominique’s wines remain at the very top of the list. His Mâcon-Villages is a selection from several parcels of vines that average 30 years of age. Fermented and aged in neutral, 450-liter oak barrels, it is a pitch-perfect snapshot of this region and of Lafon’s Midas touch. With a pristine balance between robust, sumptuous texture and lively, knife's-edge acidity, this is what all those other Chardonnays want to become when they grow up. Serve cool, at around 50 degrees, in a Burgundy stem, and classic aromas of green apple, white peach, lemon curd, hazelnut, honeysuckle, and oyster shell all emerge. Oh, and there is minerality for days. Serve with almost any seafood and you’ll be happy, but it’s also perfect for roast chicken. There’s so much wine to love here. Our only regret is that we don’t have more. So please, grab some before it is gone!
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