MACON LUGNY. 1982 – LES CHARMES. CAVE DE LUGNY
by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | March 1984
The Maconnais section of the Burgundy region of France is located at the southern end. Little attention was give to Macon wines till the last decade. Wines from this region are reasonable, and they are good. Alexis Lichine tells this story: “The lack of recognition of Macon wines led to one of their growers by the name of Claude de Brosse in 1660 to do something about it. He decided Macon wines needed salesmanship. So, with 2 barrels of still-fermenting wine he made the heroic 260 mile trip to Paris and went to the court of Louis XIV. It took him and his ox cart thirty days and God knows how many hazards of highwaymen and mud. A man of gargantuan stature, he immediately caught the king’s eye, delivered his pitch…and the king sipped. Thereafter, they say, the royal cellars never lacked for wines of Macon.”
One of the villages in the Macon is Lugny. It has its own appellation as Macon-Lugny. Most Macon wines are vinified by cooperatives of the region which are owned by the growers. (something like our Sunkist concept for oranges.) A famous vineyard exists around the village of Lugny called “Les Channes”. Our wine is from grapes of that vineyard, and made by the cooperative Cave de Lugny. It is a 10096 Chardonnay and has not been aged in oak. This 1982 was particularly good for a Macon chardonnay and quite a buy.
The importer for our wine is Chateau and Estate Wines Company of New York. I have been impressed with the palate of their buyer(s). On balance, they offer exceptional examples of the wines from the regions they represent. When you are selecting a wine at a store, or looking at a list in a restaurant; if their name appears at the bottom of a label, you will bat better than average with theirs (assuming the wine has been well stored, etc).
Chardonnay is the classic white grape of Burgundy. In the north, scattered throughout the Cotes de Nuits and the Cotes de Beaune, it is unexcelled. The soil, the weather, and the winemakers just make the best to be had in the world (If all conditions are right, of course.) The prices are pretty fancy too! To the south, through Maconnais, the chardonnay is different in style and substance. Lighter, fruitier, and with less backbone. These wines are pleasant and rounded, with the chardonnay character well apparent. Recently a good number of labels of Macon wines bear the designation “Pinot Chardonnay”. This is not a common practice. It is recent invention, intended for American consumers, in response to our heightened awareness of varietal wines, and our understandable lack of familiarity with French wine labeling.
Our wine is brilliantly clear and straw yellow in color. It has a fruity and nearly flowery aroma. Young, zestful, and concentrated, with apple overtones. Very refreshing. It has a medium to full body, and is nearly chewy. Well balanced, with good acid. Good flavor extractive. Has a personality! I label it the “fresh chardonnay”. Serve well chilled with poultry, chicken casseroles, turkey tetrazini. Primarily a meal wine, but will do well with seafood hors d’oeuvres as the aperitif wine.
Cellaring Notes: Not for ageing. Will round out during the next 12 to 18 months.