Burgundy's Best: Mâcon-Verzé from the Inimitable Domaine Leflaive
Domaine Leflaive is one of the legends of Burgundy. Their Grand Cru wines can cost thousands of dollars. But there's so little of them you aren't likely even to get the chance to buy one. Leflaive is very much like DRC and other Burgundy royalty in that respect.
But unlike DRC, Domaine Leflaive makes a wine that is not astronomically expensive, and which we were able to buy enough of to offer to all our wine-loving friends: their 2018 Mâcon-Verzé "Les Chênes.
The late Anne-Claude Leflaive was a trailblazing organic and biodynamic grower. She ran a series of experiments which ultimately proved that the meticulous work biodynamics required led to more resilient vines, healthier fruit and, in her judgment, better wine.
So, when Leflaive acquired vineyards in Burgundy's southern Mâconnais region, the farming was immediately switched to biodynamic.
It's been 18 years, and today Leflaive makes some of the very best wines in the Mâconnais. "Les Chênes" comes from a single calcareous-clay parcel of 27-year-old vines. It always tastes like Macon...but from a Puligny producer: pure, floral, mineral and full of life. It has fruit, but unlike many Mâcon wines, the fruit is more of a subtle player in a complex dance than a flashy soloist.
Leflaive's top wines take years and years to hit their peak. The Macon will likewise develop with age, and we are offering an extra discount for people who want to buy some bottles to cellar. But unlike, say, the Chevalier-Montrachet, you can already open the 2018 Macon-Verzé and see what classic Burgundian terroir tastes like when fashioned by one of France's greatest white wine domaines.
A much more floral-inflected nose reveals notes of citrusy white orchard fruit that exhibit a petrol top note. The caressing and succulent medium weight flavors possess an attractive mouthfeel that carries over to the delicious, youthfully austere and appealing dry finale. This too is really quite good.