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Editor at large Harvey Steiman joined Wine Spectator in 1983; his tasting beats are Australia, Oregon and Washington.
Harvey Steiman

A White to Start Off a Ball Game

Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Bussières Le Monsard 2007

Harvey Steiman
Posted: September 14, 2009

Before a recent baseball game in San Francisco, a winemaker from Oregon met me for dinner at Acme Chophouse, the bustling restaurant at AT&T Park that’s run by Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière. It has a friendly wine list with some smart choices on it, including the white wine I picked to get things rolling: Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Bussières Le Monsard 2007.

The price on the list ($54) may seem high for a Mâcon, but the Chardonnay's steely structure and range of delicate, refined, distinctive flavors could only come from a very good Burgundian winemaker. That would be Dominique Lafon, whose Domaine des Comtes Lafon Burgundies from the Côte de Beaune go for bigger bucks. This was not an imitation Meursault, however. To use a sports analogy, it played within itself, showing finesse and a gentleness that made it utterly charming.

The Monsard had a lovely lilt of floral, citrusy aromatics and a nice bead of pear and kiwi fruit running through the light, mouthwatering frame. It also tasted fine with our first courses of heirloom tomato salad and mushroom-topped polenta. I gave it 89 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated wines from the Mâcon appellation, plus our quick list of Top Values in white Burgundy.

David Peters
Mission Viejo, CA —  September 19, 2009 2:29am ET
Harvey: Off-topic!!! How's the 2009 Washington red grape harvest shaping-up. Was this years excessive heat a problem ???
Harvey Steiman
San Francisco, CA —  September 19, 2009 2:46am ET
My spies tell me that the heat this year rivaled 2003, the hottest Washington vintage on record, and that the vineyards are consequently ripening early. It will be a test of growers' acumen whether they can get the flavors to appear with the sugar before things get overripe. The harvest is just beginning.

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