Grape Expectations: Mâcon

Mâcon – or Mâconnais – is the southernmost subregion of Burgundy. While it does produce some red wine, it is most famous for its white wine production, made from Chardonnay. Rather less importantly, it is also one of my own favourite wine regions.

Mâcon and Mâcon-Villages are the starting point for these wines, but you may also see the word Mâcon with a place name attached to it – such as Mâcon-Solutré or Mâcon-Verzenay – denoting a higher quality region. Mâcon is also home to a number of villages which have been singled out for their even higher quality, such as Saint-Véran or Pouilly-Fuissé (which won’t feature the word Mâcon on their labels). Who said wine was confusing?

The key thing to remember about Mâcon, though, is that it is one of the last regions of Burgundy which can offer decent value for money. Anybody who has been to a shop recently looking for some Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet will know what I mean – a combination of dwindling volumes and heightened demand has pushed prices for these once affordable wines into the stratosphere.

Nobody is pretending that a lowly Mâcon-Villages will offer the same complexity or ageworthiness as its Côte d’Or cousins. Yet improvements in winemaking and investments have meant quality is improving all the time.

Recommendation: La Crochette Mâcon-Villages, Loron & Fils – An utterly classic unoaked Mâcon which shows good depth of flavour while remaining refreshing and bright. Gentle stone fruit and floral notes make this a reliable favourite.

Previous Post
An evening of music and wine
Next Post
The Life of an MW Student – Forty