The second last instalment of my tour de Burgundy, covers the Mâcon through to Beaujolais. These two regions are perhaps unquestionably the most beautiful to visit as a tourist. Mâcon for its hills and escarpments, Beaujolais for the vines that cloak its hills as far as the eye can see. The food increased in elaboration and complexity as we approached Lyon, although the best food remained as always the simplest.
The Vignerons des Terres Secrètes at Prissé was the primary stop here, aside from a hike up the very beautiful Roche de Solutré which overlooks the village of Solutré-Pouilly, and much, much more. These are the pictures above. The Mâcon region is mostly a white wine region (chardonnay) with Pouilly-Fuissé, Saint-Véran and Mâcon-Villages probably its most well known appellations. It was noted in conversation that there are premier cru proposals afoot for carving up Pouilly-Fuissé and that the 2012 and 2013 vintages saw low production in the Mâconnais.
I found the quality of the wines on offer at the Vignerons des Terres Secrètes good across the board, and they represent good value by Australian standards.
Terre Secrètes Mâcon-Villages 2014
Aromatics of lemon rind and lemon. Palate with lemon, medium-high acidity, steely and medium length. Balanced and good. G
Terre Secrètes Mâcon-Verzé Croix-Jarrier 2012
Almost some apricot flower. Floral and nectarine aromatics. Between short and medium length, balanced and stoney characters. G
Terre Secrètes Mâcon-Villages Les Sentinelles 2013
Co-vinified in around 30% of wood. Aromatics of honey, florals, toast and apricot flower. The palate has reminders of honey, medium acid, nectar and nectarine. G
Terre Secrètes Saint-Véran 2013
Earth and lemon aromatics. The palate has reminders of earth and lemon. The wine is balanced if unremarkable. A-G
Terre Secrètes Saint-Véran Les Plantés 2013
Aromatics of lemon and lime. Good purity. The palate is similar. Quite a pure expression of lemon and lime with nice medium-high acid line. G
Terre Secrètes Saint-Véran Les Cras 2012
Aromatics of honey, cedar (tiny) and lemon. Medium length, stones, earth and lemon characters. G
Terre Secrètes Saint-Véran Les Sentinelles 2013
Spent a long time on lees. Flint, toast and lemon aromatics. The palate has medium length, toast, lemon, medium acid and clarified butter. G
Terre Secrètes Pouilly-Fuissé Les Sentinelles 2011
Aromatics of apricot, florals, and stones. Apricot, medium length and balanced. G
Terre Secrètes Coteaux Bourguignons 2013
This wine is 100% gamay. Its aromatics remind of raspberry and red forest fruits. The palate reminds of raspberry and proves quite quaffable. A
Terre Secrètes Mâcon Pierreclose 2013
Also 100% gamay. Earth and raspberry, finer aromatics. A palate reminding of raspberry, with some tannins and length. Quaffable again. A-G
Terre Secrètes Bourgogne Rouge Les Sentinelles 2012
Very bright cherry, cherry jam, slightly reductive aromatics. The palate has medium length and tannins and good cherry flavours. This is a good value find. G
The crowning lunch of the entire trip was at the humble looking L’auberge de Jack in the tiny village of Milly-Lamartine. I ate a simple saucisson de Lyon cooked in red wine, which proved entirely delicious. So simple, yet so tasty. Lunch was accompanied by the very good Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine 2012 which has aromatics of earth, almond meal and peach and medium length and similar characters.
Beaujolais as a wine region that has more or less fallen on hard times. Once fashionable, it now suffers the fate of the passed over, with the exception of its crus. There is of course no particular reason for this state of affairs in 2015. In fact, the style of wine it offers – unoaked, low alcohol, crisp, refreshing wines from a region where old vineyards abound – is what is fashionable at the moment. Perhaps more single vineyard offerings, or the expansion of the crus, or perhaps the identification of as yet unindentified obscure crus might assist. Some of them even age stupendously well, but I will get to that. I propose to call this early – the region’s star will rise again. In my final post of this series, I’ll write up the subregions visited and the wines.