Comparatively tasting two wines from Macon produced a somewhat surprising result, confounding my expectations of the 2017 and 2018 vintages. There is, however, a possible explanation: This is a unique 2018 cuvee.
Hubert Laferrère – Domaine Saint-Denis
Located in the heart of the Mâconnais, Hubert Laferrère is one of the – if not the only – independent vignerons in the village of Lugny.
Hubert Laferrère has 5.5 ha of vineyards that he farms with an increasing focus on biodiversity.
I employ alternating soil ploughing and permaculture methods to preserve biodiversity of the the flora and fauna in each plot.
Negative impacts on soil and atmosphere are considerably reduced thanks to the moderation of mechanical methods.”
Biodiversity is getting more and more focus in Burgundy, and in the vineyards around Nuits-Saint-Georges one sees various initiatives aimed at increasing it. This has the added benefit of continuing to reduce the number of vignerons that are disgracing the Côte.
To the notes!
Domaine Saint Denis Macon Lugny Calcaire de Mépilly 2017
This is a rich, rather generous chardonnay with quite an expansive take. It did pull together a bit the second day, and the somewhat opulent character became better balanced, helping bring out the minerality in the wine. Lower on SO2 and a bit more organically styled, the Lugny Calcaire de Mépilly has only 20mg of total sulphur – fermentation took place without it – producing a vivid, free result.
(Drink from 2021) – Good+ (87-88p) – tasted 08/03/2021
Domaine Saint Denis “Macon Cuvee 19” Les Busserettes 2018
Next up, quite a contrasting – and very interesting – glass. This has more balance, as well as a very fine mineral background. It is enjoyable from the first sip, with a lovely, fresh note, and tremendous depth that is quite unusual for a 2018 Macon. This comes from a very small, old vineyard called Les Busserettes. The old vines – more than 100 years old, with an extraordinary variety of vegetal material – combine with a slow fermentation to give a special result. Each year, the harvest from Les Busserettes is vinified in Cuve N°19, which is always the slowest and best in the cellar, according to Laferrère.
I regularly take chardonnay grafts from this fascinating old genetic reservoir to over-graft sick vines in other parcels.”
It’s a big wine, with a gorgeous, vinous style – what a treat! And while it will keep, even drinking it young is appropriate.
(Drink from 2021) – Very Good+ (90p) – tasted 08/03/2021
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