Clos des Rocs, Mâcon-Loché "En Prés Foréts"
Clos des Rocs, Mâcon-Loché "En Prés Foréts"

Clos des Rocs, Mâcon-Loché "En Prés Foréts"

Burgundy, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$35.00

Clos des Rocs, Mâcon-Loché "En Prés Foréts"

At the far edge of where white Burgundy can be made, a small vineyard planted to Chardonnay is carving its own path in this universe of world-class wine. Here the soils are sandy and rocky, and sit on a bed of schist instead of the famous vein of limestone that runs through the region. It’s not dissimilar to soils in parts of California, and indeed we’ve tasted a few top-tier Chardonnays from the Golden State that compare very favorably. The rub is that they all cost four to five times more than this stunningly deep, delicious gem from the tiny village of Mâcon-Loché. The unique terroir of this micro-parcel of vines combines perfectly with the talents of rising star Olivier Giroux to craft a wine that shows an almost perfect balance of lush, ripe fruit and zippy, laser-like precision. This is a perfect wine to have on hand to please both lovers of new world Chardonnay and old world white Burgundy, and if you are either of those, then you should buy this wine by the case. Stock up and make this Mâcon your house white for the fall!

A few weeks ago, we highlighted the annual release of Comte Lafon’s boundary-breaking Mâcon-Villages. As predicted, it sold out fast, but we mentioned in the article that his attention to this long-overlooked corner of Burgundy gave rise to a new generation of talent, ready to help him rejuvenate a region that was once every bit as famous as Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet. One of those very talented, early pioneers that joined in the Mâcon renaissance was Olivier Giroux. He was no newcomer, having grown up in the area, and indeed his family has been involved in the wine industry here for seven generations. But after spending several years at the helm of a winery in Southern France, Olivier returned to the Mâcon and was able to purchase a small, historic estate, formerly known as Domaine Saint-Philibert, in 2002.

Much like the Lafon team, Olivier’s first order of business was to convert all the vineyards to organic farming, and in 2014 he received official certification. Today they use a range of biodynamic techniques, always striving to obtain the healthiest fruit possible. In the cellar, the work is best described as “clean-natural,” using only indigenous yeasts for fermentation and adding nothing but small amounts of SO2 if needed. The “En Prés Foréts” is aged mostly in steel tanks to maintain a vibrancy of fruit and acidity, but 10% does go into 500-liter barrels for a bit of added texture and depth.

The 40- to 50-year-old vines of this small, 1.6-hectare vineyard are grown in mostly sandy silt and clay, which is layered on top of hard, rocky schist. This atypical terroir for Burgundy lends the “Prés Foréts,” or “near the forest,” a brighter and fruitier personality, without sacrificing any depth or complexity. Serve this sunny gem of a wine cool, between 45 and 50 degrees, in a Burgundy stem and you’ll be dazzled by yellow peaches, nectarines, white flowers, lemon zest, key lime, raw almond, and loads of wet rocks and saline minerals. It’s a lovely pairing for a good cheese spread—be sure to include some Époisses, and something Alpine, too—or any fruits de mer, but for a killer appetizer I’d go with a creamy cauliflower soup topped with fresh crab. It’s also that rare white Burgundy that doesn’t require any food to shine, another reason to keep a healthy supply on hand at all times!
Clos des Rocs, Mâcon-Loché "En Prés Foréts"

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