The Mâconnais — Where Chardonnay Reigns
Chablis (in the North of Burgundy) and the Mâconnais region (in the South) are the major producers of white wines. The style of Chardonnay from the two sub-regions, however, is vastly different. Though typically unoaked, the Chardonnay from Mâconnais is warm, ripe and full bodied. The Mâconnais transforms the rolling hills of Chalonnaise into rocky soils and structures.
Mâcon AOP is allowed to produce white, rosé and red wines. Chardonnays tend to be herbaceous at times (fennel, pine, lemon verbena) with full warm apple and quince fruits. Reds allow Gamay which imparts extracted blackberry, pepper, game.
Further south, we find the Village AOPs: Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles, Saint-Véran, and Viré-Clessé. All five produce only Chardonnay. The soils in these locations are layered with limestone and the rocky structures of the Solutré and Vergisson which lends to heating the vines and adding fossil corals.
- Pouilly-Fuissé – Minerals, lemon citrus, hazelnut and brioche.
- Pouilly-Loché – Peach, warm ripe pears, floral notes and silky texture.
- Pouilly-Vinzelles – Peaches, apricots and grapefruit and with age: almond, hazelnut, honey, quince and toast
- Saint-Véran – Similar however plumper body, warmer fruit components
- Viré-Cless – Lively, fresh with notes of lemon balm, white peach, verbena
Jaci Kajfas, Sommelier
Manager, Portalis Wine Shop
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