Saturday, July 08, 2006

July 8, 2006. Heritiers Des Comte Lafon, value for money white Burgundies


In this day and age we all lament at how expensive wines have become. The days where one can easily find "good and
cheap" wines are gone. Back not too long ago, it was "show me what you've got and then I'll decide how much it's worth" - the consumer was boss. The tables have now turned Ladies and gentlemen. Nowadays its "pay first and then let's see...." Too often we pay up and don't see anything. As long as we can't turn back the clock - the only other way is to be better informed.

Comte Lafon of Mersault rightfully deserves its place in the highest ranks of white Burgundy makers. Some of their usual offerings have become frightfully expensive in the last few years. Well here's the scoop - there is a cheaper Lafon.

Since 1999 Lafon has conducted an operation in Macon delivering high quality and good value white wines
called Heritiers Des Comte Lafon. Situated in the Macon , the property covers around 35 acres and produces 6 or 7 white wines. The viticulture has now gone organic and harvest is done by hand. The wines sees a combination of tank, wooden tuns and barrels. Light filtration is performed.

There is 1 generic and 2 village Macons :
Macon
Macon-Village
Macon-Milly-Lamartine

Then 4 "climat" wines :
Macon-Bussieres "Les Mansard"
Macon-Uchizy "Les Maranches"
Macon-Chardonnay "Clos de la Crochette"
Macon-Milly-Lamartine "Clos du Four"

The typical price of these wines are USD$20-$30 with the "climat" bottlings being a bit more. The last 2 cuvees are a bit of a step up from the village wines ( Clos de la Crochette and Clos du Four). I would challenge fellow readers to find a $20-30 bottle of similiar quality to "Clos du Four" or "Clos de la Crochette"- not impossible but not so easy I would wager. IMHO, there is too much swill in this price category.

From memory, the 2003 vintage was very good. The "La Maranches"
was more immediately forward, pretty and soft. The "Clos de la Crochette" being superbly balanced with fruit and minerality and more wound up power waiting to be released - the wine needed about 30-45mins to open up. The most current vintage is 2004 (bottles have been secured tasting notes to follow soon) and is one area in Burgundy which supposedly faired better than it's neighbors on the Cote d'Or. If you ever get the chance to try it, you may be pleasently surprised. Bear in mind that Cloudy bay (Chardonnay) from New Zealand is about the same price or slightly more expensive ( to me this is quite funny or sad depending how you look at things). Bravo Dominique Lafon.

2004 Macon Milly Lamartine. Forward, flowers, hazelnuts, lively acidity and a bit of sweetness. Open it for 20 minutes. Went very well with raw fish and sea urchin. Great Summer drinking. 87-88 pts.

2004 Macon Chardonnay - Clos de la Crochette
Much tighter, nutter, more power and with slight bitter/nutty tinge. Needs 45-1 hour after opening up to get some "balance". Marginally better than the Milly Lamartine 88pts.

1 comment:

Bahstan@yahoo.com said...

Strongly agree--I think it's a yummy price performer...