Wine in highlight: 2020 Mâcon-Verzé, Domaine Leflaive
The Mâconnais region of Burgundy is home to some of the most exciting and dynamic white wines in the world. Unlike the more famous vineyards to the north, which produce some of the world's most expensive and highly sought-after wines, the Mâconnais offers something different: delicious, affordable, and approachable white wines that showcase the unique terroir of this beautiful region.
In recent years, the wines of the Mâconnais have gained recognition for their exceptional quality from the most ignored area of Burgundy. Winemakers have been focusing on improving their techniques and adopting sustainable and organic farming methods. This has led to a rise in the quality of the wines produced, with more and more winemakers experimenting with different approaches and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the region, bringing innovation to a land of tradition.
Another distinctive point is their diversity. Even though the most famous grape variety is, of course, Chardonnay, the Mâconnais is home to a wide range of grapes, including Aligoté, Pinot Blanc and Gamay (as we’re just bordering Beaujolais here).
Mâcon-Verzé is exclusively planted with Chardonnay grapes in the southern part of the Mâconnais region in Burgundy, sandwiched between the Côte Chalonnaise to the north and the Beaujolais region to the south. The soil is characterized by a mixture of limestone and clay soils, which gives the wines their signature minerality and complexity. The climate is continental, with hot summers and cold winters, proving ideal for the grapes to ripen slowly and develop a range of flavours and so to give us wines with both richness and freshness.
The wines are known for their balance, elegance, and complexity. They are typically unoaked or lightly oaked, which allows the purity of the fruit to shine through. The wines are fresh and lively, with flavours of citrus fruits, white flowers, and a hint of minerality. They are delicate and refined, with a subtlety that sets them apart from the richer and more intense wines of the Côte d'Or.
Domaine Leflaive consistently produces some of the finest whites from Burgundy. This iconic estate is located in the small village of Puligny-Montrachet, in the heart of the Côte d'Or. However, the Leflaive family also owns vineyards in the Mâconnais, and their Mâcon-Verzé is one of the most exciting wines in their portfolio: made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in the village of Verzé, hand-harvested and sorted, then gently pressed to extract the juice. Fermented then using natural yeasts in large oak barrels, a technique that allows the wine to develop complexity and texture while retaining its bright acidity and pure fruit flavours.
Bright, straw-yellow colour, with aromas of citrus fruit peel, acacia blossom, and a hint of honey water, being fresh and lively on the palate with flavours of lemon pie crust, roasted seeds and crisp apple. A medium body, creamy texture and a long, refreshing finish with a hint of mineral saltiness to reflect upon.
Truly an exceptional example of not-too-expensive-yet white Burgundy while showcasing all the elegance and refinement this appellation and producer is known for. Domaine Leflaive is just one of many exceptional producers, whether you're a fan of the delicate and refined style of white wine or simply looking to explore, Mâcon-Verzé is just a perfect place to start!