Venturing south
A sensational debut

Jean-Marc Boillot's 2015 Macons

The Burgundy region of Mâcon, south of the famous villages of Côte d’Or, has long been overlooked, dismissed as a source of generic, pedestrian white wines. Much of the blame lies at the door of history. During the Second World War, Mâcon found itself on the right side, or wrong side, depending on how you look at it, of German occupation. Further north in the Côte Chalonnais and Côte d’Or, vineyards were classified into crus so as to prevent widespread German requisition. No such codification was needed in the Mâconnaise since the wine was safely out of reach of German soldiers’ thirst.

And thus, this bona fide region of Burgundy has played catch-up ever since as the only one without a fully-fledged cru system. But change is on the horizon. The region’s growers have long recognised the quality potential of the region, and the vignerons of Pouilly Fuissé are on the very cusp of premier cru classification. This surely is the start of things to come.

Jean-Marc Boillot, Etienne Sauzet’s grandson, has built a reputation as a first-rate producer in Puligny Montrachet, and in 2015 he followed the path forged by his esteemed neighbours in the Côte D’Or, Domaines Comtes Lafon and Leflaive, venturing south to the vineyard of Mâcon, where land is still, in relative Burgundian terms, affordable, and quality potential abounds.

The Boillots purchased three hectares of vines around the village of Chardonnay (yes, it really is called Chardonnay) and vinify a range of white wines with the same care and attention they do their Pulignys. 2015’s fleshy, ripe character make this pair of wines a sensational debut.

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