07 Cave de Lugny, Macon-Villages Chardonnay
This Macon is proof that Americans are right. There is a brilliant winemaker/Burgundy importer outside of Portland, Oregon who is wondering, now, why he ever wasted his time having lunch with me. I wouldn't blame him. This is pretty blasphemous. But I like to go back to these simple--and they are not always "elegant," they are simple--South Burgundian French chardonnays to remind me what the grape really tastes like. I think the basic, Villages level chards from here are the truest expression of the grape. That's an observation, not a compliment. They aren't roughed up by oak like "everyday" American or Aussie chards, true, but they also aren't macquillaged by the minerally, flinty terroir of places like Chablis. Often, Macon is only chardonnay. Its terroir is itself. And so it's no surprise that this wine is distinctly singular. Sure, a little bit of golden and green apple skins underline every sip. But the dead, dry yeast aroma bores me, and the only reason--besides its refreshing quaffability--that I drink this wine is because of what happens at the end. As ignorant as this wine wants to be, it can't help but reveal the hints of vanilla, fresh cream, and drawn butter inherent to chard. Yeah, maybe the fermentation ran a little hot and a bit of malolactic kicked in. My point's the same though: pure chard like this shows that Americans are right. Right to soak this beloved (but truly gullible) grape in forests of new oak because that vanilla and cream aren't makeup, they're hubris--a pituitary overgrowth of the grape's most wanton characteristics. And when you strip all that away, you're left with authentic, romantic, Burgundian nothing.