BB Review: Mâcon-Villages 2016
We're rounding out our Chardonnay round with a cheap-and-cheerful classic from France. That's right, Kate picked this bottle up before her conversion from the ABC Mob to the Chardonnay Club because it was cheap (it was on sale for £7.50 at the time. Bargain!) and she didn't believe in spending good money on Chardonnay. (Can you believe that?! 🙄) Let's find out if this Chardonnay keeps all three of the BBs smiling...
BOTTLE: Macon-Villages 2016 – Burgundy, France
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £10.00 from Marks & Spencer
ABV & TECH SPECS: 100% Chardonnay and 12.5% ABV
ABOUT THIS BOTTLE: This youthful Burgundian Chardonnay is made exclusively for Marks & Spencer by the winemaker Georges Brichon of Cave de Prissé. Like many whites found in Mâcon, they do not use oak in the winemaking process in order to maintain a wine of lighter body, primary flavours and aromas, and, as some may say, a fresh and more crisp character to those found elsewhere in Burgundy. It means if you're not sure where you sit with more oaky wines, this may be a great place to start on your Chardonnay journey. Kinda like a first date with the Chardonnay grape, which will hopefully lead to many more juicy dates!
ABOUT MÂCON: In this part of southern Bourgogne, the hills of the Mâconnais extend over some 40 km from the Côte Chalonnaise to the Rock of Solutré and are bordered on one side by the river Saône with the Grosne on the other. The regional appellation of Mâcon dates from 1937 and the white wines, all made from (you guessed it!) Chardonnay, can be made from grapes from the whole region and also 11 neighbouring communes, which are entitled to use the Mâcon Villages appellation, or Mâcon + the name of the village, if all the grapes are from one specific area.
FUN FACT: The 2014 vintage of this wine was awarded the International Trophy by a panel of 240 top wine experts at the Decanter World Wine Awards. That’s like the Oscars of the wine world!
CARO: Okay, here comes the French classic! A beautiful yellow gold colour that makes me think this has quite a bit to offer. Huuuh… guys, is it coconut I can smell? I mean, that’s fine with me! Okay, this feels quite watery and light, but it’s leaving a good boozy trail behind. The taste is totally not what I was expecting, like a stone fruit, only dryer and boozier. Oh hang on, I know!! It feels like that bit of sick that remains in your mouth after you’ve chundered. And I can feel it will easily lead me down the headache path if I drink anymore than this glass. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
ANGELA: This is a great wine for price and palate points – being unoaked allows for the zesty lemon and peach notes to come through and it has a great amount of acidity, flavour and body to please a host of palates. The flavour did dissipate a little quicker then I would have liked but then I think for its price point I’d happily have a glass or 2 as an aperitif (alongside some oysters perhaps) and move on to something a little more sophisticated. I’d happily buy a few of these for the fridge door over the summer though.
KATE: This label makes me soooooo sad but the wine itself is quit light and bright! It smells like cherry-blossom-lined streets, a zippy breeze, sweet peaches and rain. It's a very thirst-quenching wine, the type of thing I feel I could gulp down after a good gallop in the park (if I were ever to do such a thing), with some nice mineral and earthy notes. It reminds me quite a bit of a Gavi, which I generally love, and is a wine I would definitely drink whilst on a boat. Ahoy and bottoms up!
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? Angela and Kate are going to finish this bottle off before we all move on to something with a bit more punch. (Edited to note: Nobody got a headache from this wine.)