Domaine Raphael Sallet Macon-Uchizy Les Maranches 2021
Typical of the single-village Macon style, this wine is unoaked and emphasizes the fresh fruit and floral character of the Chardonnay grape. It is fresh and clean with notes of white flowers, Asian pear, lime, and elegant minerality. Full of energy but not sharp, this is a dry white wine for light meals or just sipping with friends.
This wine is extremely food-friendly and also great as an aperitif. It will pair with a wide array of dishes including goat cheese, white fish, and shellfish, roasted chicken, and grilled vegetables.
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Rafael Sallet is a maestro of fine white Burgundy winemaking. He is internationally regarded for crafting exceptional Chardonnay and for developing outstanding wines from lesser-known village appellations such as Mâcon-Uchizy, in southern Burgundy. The key to his success is his fanatical attention to detail. The vines are located within the commune of Uchizy, in Southern Burgundy in the North of the Mâconnais region at the average altitude of 850 feet above sea level. The soil here is primarily limestone and clay, on gentle slopes with East facing exposure. The 40 acre vineyard is sustainably farmed with a vine density of 3000 plants per acre and an average vine age of 30 years old. The vines are trained with classic Guyot trellising system. Grapes are gently and slowly pressed in pneumatic presses, then the juice is settled at low temperatures. Fermentations are done in temperature controlled stainless steel vats so as preserve the freshness and natural fruitiness in the grape. Alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation and maturation takes place on the fine lees to add texture and complexity. Racking and a light filtration are carried out prior to bottling in Spring, with no oak aging.
Mâcon Uchizy wines are those produced under the Mâcon appellation within the commune of Uchizy. The designation was created in 2005, and covers just 106 acres. The Mâcon Uchizy title covers white wines produced exclusively from the Chardonnay grape variety. The vineyards are situated on the Easternmost section of the Mâconnais hills. They benefit from proximity to the Saône river, with air movement combatting frosts and hot summer temperatures. The vines are mainly planted on the hillside 790-985ft and are oriented to catch the morning sun. The soil alternates layers of chalk and marl across much of the commune. Around the village itself vines grow on a combination of clay and chalky, stony soils. Wine from this appellation are known for their consistency and are a great value for their relative price.
These are the fun, fruit-driven and lively Chardonnays of white Burgundy, often offering some fantastic values and options that you don’t have to cellar. Flavors range from fresh green apple and lemon to melon or pineapple; some of the best are fleshy and mineral driven or balanced by a light touch of oak.
Mâconnais Chardonnay may have the weight of their more serious Côte de Beaune sisters, but not quite the refinement. Still, this appellation is one of the best ways to jump from California Chardonnay to something new and begin to understand white Burgundy.
The Mâconnais region is warmer and drier than the rest of Burgundy to its north (Côte d’Or) and has a landscape of rolling hills and farmland interspersed among vineyards. The region produces a lot of Chardonnay—Viré-Clessé and Pouilly-Fuisse are among the best—and a very small amount of red wine from Gamay and Pinot Noir. The soils of Mâconnais remain limestone dominant like in the Côte d’Or, making it a wonderful spot for Chardonnay to thrive. Gamay's home of Beaujolais lies just to the south.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.