2022 Domaine de la Creuze Noire, Saint-Véran
2022 Domaine de la Creuze Noire, Saint-Véran

2022 Domaine de la Creuze Noire, Saint-Véran

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

2022 Domaine de la Creuze Noire, Saint-Véran

We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: The Màcon is very much on the rise. The southernmost extension of what most people consider the “classic” range of Burgundy was once just as acclaimed as its white wine neighbors to the north in the Côte de Beaune, but the post war era saw a descent into industrialized mass production. It was a race to the bottom for several decades, but that trend began to reverse in the late 1990s and now some of the very best values in white Burgundy hail from the “humble” Mâcon. Today’s lovely, multi-layered, straw-gold gem from the perennially overachieving village of Saint-Véran is the perfect wine to hammer this point home. That exquisite balance of rich, tangy fruit and razor-sharp mineral tension that makes everyone go gaga for Meursault is readily apparent in the Domaine de la Creuze Noire—and it costs much, much less. And that’s the rub: Meursault quality for a price that has “house white” written all over it. Buy it by the case!

The drive from Beaune, the de facto capital of Burgundy’s famed Côte d’Or, to the Mâcon takes less than an hour on a good day, but in many ways you seem a world away. The imposing monocultural slope, or côte, gives way to a pastoral countryside of rolling hills and rocky outcrops, dotted with plenty of vineyards that somehow manage to blend seamlessly into the natural landscape. It’s also a bit warmer and, anecdotally anyways, sunnier here. That favorable weather is one reason why large producers and corporations moved in to the region over the past century or so, and armed with agricultural chemicals and postwar wizardry, they began to turn the charming wines of this ancient region into industrial-scale Chardonnay that soon became cheaper than bottled water in French cafés and took over grocery store shelves all over Europe and the US. But if you walk through these vineyards with a careful eye and an understanding of geology and history, you realize that the same streak of limestone marl that enables the Côte d’Or to produce some of the world’s most sought-after wines continues right through the Mâcon and only ends when it hits the granite of Beaujolais.

In the 1990s, the pendulum began to slowly swing back towards quality, and when the legendary winemaker Dominique Lafon purchased some vineyards in 1999 and started his own Mâcon estate. Other top names followed, and at the same time a new generation began to inherit vines and many decided to return to estate bottling, focusing on farming and highlighting their unique terroirs. Dominique Martin was an early adopter of this return to quality over quantity. His family had been farmers and vignerons for five generations, but he wanted to get back to growing and bottling his own wine; he cobbled together some family vineyards and purchased a few more, then built a cellar, and in 1990, Domaine de la Creuze Noire was born. Today Martin, his wife, Christine, and their son, Loïc, oversee about 30 hectares of vines in the Mâcon and Beaujolais.

Saint-Véran is a rare non-contiguous appellation, with vineyards that surround and are split by the natural amphitheater of Pouilly-Fuissé. With gentle slopes and that classic mix of limestone and clay, this is a perfect area for charming, exquisitely balanced, sun-kissed Chardonnay. Serve the Creuze Noire in a nice Burgundy stem at around 50 degrees, and the deep, straw-gold hue will match the aromas of yellow apple, apricot skin, lemon zest, white flowers, bitter almond, honeysuckle, and salty wet rocks. Its plush, medium body is textbook Chardonnay in style, but with that core of saline minerals and zippy acidity that is the calling card of the best white Burgundies. Pair with your favorite pan seared fish or roast chicken recipes, or mix it up with some baja fish tacos or spicy noodles, it’s wonderfully versatile and the price makes it easy to stock up and have it on hand for any and all occasions.

2022 Domaine de la Creuze Noire, Saint-Véran

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