Today, we are happy to highlight the recent arrival of the 2016s from Dominique Lafon’s trailblazing Mâconnais project, Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon.
As our regular newsletter readers know, Dominique, widely considered one of the finest winemakers in France, founded this domaine back in 1999 with an eye on making world class Chardonnay in a region known more for its industrially farmed, high volume wines. The goal: produce some of the most complex, vibrant and impressive wines to express the unrealized potential of the Mâconnais.
Since 2006, the day-to-day winemaking responsibilities have been in the hands of long-time apprentice, Caroline Gon. Over the years, we have had the pleasure of following the domaine’s growth and evolution under Caroline’s leadership. What she has been able to accomplish during this time, has been extraordinary and one of the principal reasons why the gospel of the Mâconnais enjoys the authority and range we observe today. Brava!
The 2016 vintage in Burgundy was excruciating for growers. The Mâconnais was spared the painful frosts that devastated famous address throughout the Cote d’Or but though the region was spared this extreme weather it received a relentless series of hailstorms that ravaged the region from mid-April through the end of July. With yields dramatically down and disease pressure in the vineyards spiking, it was a vintage characterized by bad news arriving almost daily and one that many yearned to forget. When the wines finally began making their way out into the world, the reception was mixed and even the most experienced taster found it difficult to give the wines their support.
Re-tasting these 2016s now has reconfirmed one of our most fundamental convictions: simply that ‘off’ vintages are special opportunities to buy and enjoy the world’s most distinctive, terroir driven wines that we so often miss out on in top vintages.
With decent stock across the range, we thought it’d be fun to present our loyal readers with an unique opportunity to begin a focused exploration of the distinctive terroirs of the Mâconnais through the lens of a master and from the hands of a world class talent.
So, here’s the deal: get 10% off when you buy a 6-pk, 15% off when you go deep and buy a case online. Feel free to mix-and-match. No further discounts. Offer expires on Sunday January 28th or while supplies last. All wines are being stored and will ship from our store in Downtown San Francisco.
It was the high altitude, cooler terroir of the commune of Milly-Lamartine that attracted Dominique to the possibility of realizing his vision of producing world-class Chardonnay in the Maconnais. Beautiful white flowers and citrus zest with nice focus and grip. There are small limestone rocks that sit atop hard bedrock strewn across this steep, East facing slope. A great introduction.
Sourced from a single vineyard, Clos du Four is unique due to the high proportion of clay in its soils relative to other parcels in the commune. Consistently the lowest yielding vineyard, this also tends to produce the most full-bodied wine from the line-up.
One of the newest additions to lineup. Prisse is sourced exclusively from the lieu-dit La Verchère, on a gentle, east-facing slope, 200m altitude, well-structured clay soils on hard limestone bedrock. It is a site closer in proximity to St-Veran. Baked apple, hazelnut and flint smoke. Bright, open-knit and easy-going though not lacking for substance. This is a wine to watch.
Early-ripening terroir from the lieu-dit En Monsard. Juicy apple, pear, candied citrus and almond cream. Great mineral drive, clean and precise.
Blend of two parcels within the lieu-dit Les Maranches. Sunny and warm sites that produce a wine full of exotic fruit and heady floral aromas. There is a disarming opulence to this wine that finds its balance in finish that is precise and saline. Classic Lafon.
From a single-walled vineyard (clos) in the commune of Chardonnay. Nicely structured with a generous mid-palate weight. White fruits, lemon zest and fresh.
The rest of the new arrivals from 2016 Heretieres du Comte Lafon:
Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Viré-Clessé, 2016 – $41.99
What pairs perfectly with your fancy seafood courses? World class Chardonnay. Dungeness Crab, creamy lobster pasta or raw bar options will all benefit from the balance of richness, texture and bright acidity that Heritieres offers every vintage.