Producer: Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon
Whilst some of his competitors have diversified into vineyards in the New World or in the South of France, star white wine producer Dominique Lafon’s expansion plans have only taken him as far as the Mâconnais, an hour or so down the autoroute from his base in Meursault.
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One suspects that his perfectionist attitude to growing grapes and also his employment of riskier biodynamic methods meant that being virtually on the doorstep was an overriding priority. It was back in 1999 that we were among the very first visitors to his then just-purchased winery at Milly-Lamartine, and since then spent half a day with Dominique in his Landcruiser travelling up hill and down dale to explore his burgeoning Mâconnais vineyard holdings. They now stand at about 17 ha.
The original estate brought with it 7 ha of vines on the slope behind the winery in Milly-Lamartine, with a warm mid-slope patch of vines being singled out for bottling as Clos du Four, as well as one more elevated hectare just over the hill in Bussières called Le Monsard. In 2003, six further hectares were added but these are some way from the winery, in the villages of Chardonnay and Uchizy to the north. The Mâcon-Uchizy Les Maranches is from a scrubby hill that is easily visible for keen-eyed travellers on the A6 autoroute. It used to be rather dominated by an intriguing Muscat-like nose from a proportion of Chardonnay musqué vines, but this has been greatly reduced recently. In style the Mâcon-Chardonnay ‘Clos de la Crochette’ combines magnificently the cool citrus style of the Bussières with the warm tropical nature of the Uchizy. To this range has been added a Viré-Clessé, and from 2015, 2.5 ha in Mâcon-Prissé, Saint-Véran and Pouilly-Fuissé, complete an attractively priced range that gives more people the opportunity to experience some of the magic of the fabled Meursault wines.