2017 Domaine Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon, Mâcon Milly-Lamartine, White Burgundy, France.
Tasted from magnum, the 2017 Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Mâcon Milly-Lamartine is a beauty, so pure and mineral focused, I was thrilled with this vintage and as a longtime fan of Lafon’s Mâconnais project it was great to try the latest release as see that the quality seems to have even risen since I last had them. Attention to detail, using only the best grapes possible, indigenous yeasts and gentle winemaking Lafon and team, as his US importer Skurnik puts it, strive to preserve the fruit and minerality of the region by using only larger, neutral wood for the aging of the wines. This current lime blossom scented Mâcon Milly-Lamartine shows precision and finesse usually reserved for wines are twice or three times the price with bright, but layered Chardonnay fruit, wet stones and a touch of leesy texture featuring lemon, peach, apple and bosc pear fruits along with a touch of clove spice and saline rich wet stone. While crisp and steely with loads of energy this year has a subtle creaminess of mouth feel hinting at its extract and underlying density, most likely from the rigorous selections, small yields and the old vine concentration. The 2017 Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon, Mâcon Milly-Lamartine shows a remarkable form and style, this might be my favorite “Cru” in the lineup, grown on clay and limestone that isn’t all that different from Puligny, Saint-Aubin and Lafon’s loved Meursault home.
Founded by Meursault legend, Dominique Lafon, in 1999 the Mâconnais based Héritiers du Comte Lafon is an all organic and biodynamic estate that crafts exceptional Chardonnay from this lesser appreciated region where he found treasured old vine parcels and excellent terroirs. The wines are now, since 2006, made by the hugely talented Caroline Gon, who was Lafon’s apprentice for many years, so there is a amazing chemistry and clearly a linage of quality. Lafon, one of best known Cote de Beaune winemakers, was one of the first to see the potential of the Mâconnais for its hidden magic and his success has brought on a wave of Cote d’Or producers to the region, looking for a less expensive place to source premium Chardonnay grapes, and now Saint-Veran, Vire-Clesse and all the various sub zones of Mâcon are all the rage. Historically, the Mâconnais was known for industrially farmed, volume driven wines usually just labeled Mâcon-Villages, sort of generic and sadly un-inspiring, but now thrilling wines are being handcrafted here, like those of Robert-Denogent, Domaine de la Sarazinière and Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon are as highly regarded as the more famous Beaune addresses! As mentioned repeatedly in my many prior reviews, if you want a truly fabulous White Burgundy at a fair price, this is a label to invest in and or search out.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive