Nearly all white wines from Burgundy spend some time oak. The barrels help develop the texture wines’, adding a roundness through micro-oxygenation. And while they’re typically less heavily oaked than many New World wines, the toasty notes are an important part of the great white Burgundies of Chassagne, Puligny, and Meursault.
But not all white Burgundies are oaked. The most famous vat-raised chardonnays of France come from Chablis, where the wines boast a stony crispness. But the other excellent source for unoaked Burgundian Chardonnay is the Maconnais, about an hour south of Beaune, in what the French call “la France Profonde” (deep France).
And it’s here that we find today’s wine — Nicolas Maillet’s pure, explosive, nectar-like white Macon-Villages.
Nicolas Maillet is a passionate young winemaker in the heart of the Maconnais. His wines are as pure an expression of the Chardonnay grape as we know, with no oak to obscure the gorgeous fruit. They have the clarity of fine Chablis with the weight and roundness of a Côte d’Or Chardonnay.
The 2016 Maillet Macon-Villages has just arrived in our warehouse, and it’s expressive and beautiful. Look for spring flowers and honeysuckle, with faint notes of dried straw. In the mouth it’s a classic Macon — rich and full with bright floral notes, beautiful acidity, and lots of depth. Maillet draws upon biodynamics to elevate the complexity, and his wines are a true symphony of nature in the glass.
For white Burgundy fans, this is a remarkable value — far more complexity than the price tag suggests.
Maillet Macon-Villages 2016
bottle price: $24
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