No matter how many wines from different grape varieties I taste, there is something about Chardonnay, especially from Burgundy, that reinforces why I love wine so much.
This delicious 2008 Mâcon Chaintré from Domaine Cheveau is certainly a case in point.
The moment I poured this wine in my glass I loved its gorgeous golden color. On the nose the minerality seems to jump from the glass, and is nicely interwoven with a medley of orchard, citrus and melon fruit. A lively backbone of acidity gives this wine meaningful focus and definition. It has a round, richly textured mouthfeel. Very flavorful on the palate showing a bounty of tangerine, grapefruit, apple, cantaloupe, peach flavors, with a gentle creaminess on the mid-palate. To boot the clear-cut minerality persists to a long length with a refreshing finish.
At the table - Chardonnay is generally a good friend at the table. Certainly this Mâcon Chaintré "Le Clos" will pair well with a range of fish and poultry dishes, smoked salmon or trout, roast loin of pork, veal cutlets and if you feel like something exotic, try garlic fried frogs legs or even snails. This wine is also delicious with fresh goat cheeses. We enjoyed it with a stuffed quail dish served with couscous.
About Mâcon Chaintré, Domaine Cheveau and 'Le Clos'
Mâcon Chaintré is a named village appellation in the Mâconnais wine region of Burgundy. The Mâconnais is quite a large wine region with a number of different quality designations starting with the generic regional designation 'Mâcon', then Mâcon Superior, Mâcon Villages and finally at the top of the quality ladder the names villages such as Mâcon-Lugny, Mâcon Chaintré, Mâcon Viré, Mâcon Clessé etc. Chaintré is the most southerly of these permitted named villages.
Domaine Cheveau is a highly regarded producer in the region. The Domaine was established in 1950 by Andre Cheveau, and is now in its third generation, and run by his grandsons. In total the family has about 14 hectares of vineyards planted to Chardonnay for whites and Gamay for reds. All the grapes are hand harvested and the wines are fermented and vinified plot-by-plot. The 'Le Clos' is a single vineyard wine. It was fermented in stainless steel and then rested in tank on its fine lees for a period before bottling to give the wine more complexity and integration, which make it is such a good buy.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
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(Image: The Winery)