Maison Louis Latour, Les Genievres, AOC Macon-Lugny, Maconnais, Saone et Loire, Burgundy, France, 2016
On the Maconnais
The Maconnais is the southern-most sub-region of Burgundy, with the Beaujolais crus bordering to the south, and the city of Lyon beyond. The river Saone forms the eastern limit of the appellation. There are no premier crus, or higher, in the region. The topography is of rolling limestone hills – the best of limestone with slate, with a warmer climate than Cote Chalonaise and the Cote d’Or, with more sun, less rain, and little risk of frost.
Whites are varietal chardonnay, the reds mostly gamay, though pinot noir is permitted.
The best crus of the Maconnais are the chardonnay only AOCs of Pouilly-Fuisse – in the shadow of the Roche de Solutre, Pouilly-Vinzelles and Pouilly-Loche, though Vire Clesse (the latest AOC, in 1999) and St. Veran, are also worth a mention.
Theoretical quality of AOC Macon wines are, in ascending order: Macon, Macon Superieure (1% more alcohol than plain Macon), Macon Villages, Macon+village name eg Macon-Milly-Lamartine, Macon-Vinzelle.
This wine: lot No. L8023417 (on the capsule), varietal chardonnay, mechanical harvesting; fermentation, MLF, then ~9 months ageing, all in stainless steel vat, Diam 5 agglomerate cork closure, 13% abv, Vintage Wines, £14 (01/19)
Consumer tasting note: a named village Maconnais chardonnay, medium-full bodied, smooth with balancing acidity, with a profile of stewed apple, richer riper yellow apple, and white, edged with yellow peach, with touches of spicy muscat and wax. A medium-long length.
Drink now – RTD and will keep for up to 2 years – Wait. No need to decant.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas as they come, of stewed apple with the merest suggestion of a caramel edge, conference pear, a spicy nuance, white peach, waxy, yellow apple, hint of yellow peach.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium intensity, a smooth texture with a low-key grip, with flavours of white peach, apple puree, yellow apple, a touch of spicy muscat, and after 20 minutes or so a hint of pineapple. A medium (+) length with a clean finish of stewed apple edged with riper stone fruit, and an initial slight bitterness on the end, which disappears with a little time.
Quality: good, well-balanced acidity with alcohol, the latter slightly high for the modest intensity; of modest concentration, but still leading to a long length; showing some complexity with just a touch of in-bottle development with the waxy note and caramel edge, no evidence of oak, but a round texture from MLF and lees ageing, and a slight grip from perhaps a little extended maceration on the skins. Finishes medium-long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for a year, perhaps two – balanced now, but lacking intensity and concentration.