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A $30 Chardonnay from a Famed Burgundy Vintner

Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine 2007
Harvey Steiman
Posted: April 13, 2009

After a week traveling through the Pacific Northwest and drinking some mighty fine Washington Syrahs and Oregon Pinot Noirs, I was ready for a change. My wife and I needed something to go with our first courses at Marché, a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning bistro in Eugene, Ore.—fried oysters for her and asparagus salad with frisée lettuce, bacon and a duck egg for me.

Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine 2007 made the perfect choice for two reasons. It was a mouthwatering Chardonnay for its steely structure, bright citrus and pear flavors, and a bracing minerality, like the smell of rain on gravel. Also, earlier that day I had visited Evening Land, the new project for which the Burgundy vigneron Dominique Lafon, the title character of Domaine des Comtes Lafon, is consulting.

Known for luscious Meursaults and a killer Montrachet, Lafon added Domaine Héritiers in Mâcon to its holdings in 1999, introducing the same biodynamic viticulture used in the family's Côte d'Or vineyards. You can feel the vitality in this Mâcon, which I rated 90 points, non-blind, and it framed the oysters and asparagus beautifully. For all that, the price was right. Though not listed by the bottle, Marché charged $13 for a generous pour by the glass. The wine retails for around $30. members: Find more recently rated white Burgundies from the Mâcon region.

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