As I mentioned on Friday I’m on a mission to check out Chardonnays in the $15-20 price range. The first cab off the rank is the Louis Latour Mâcon-Villages Chameroy 2009 which I picked up from a very large national chain for about $17.
This was a bit of a sentimental purchase – when I lived in England our local Oddbins sold an excellent Mâcon-Lugny for £10. The Mâconnais is the southern part of Burgundy and the wines it produces are significantly more affordable than those from the north (the Côte d’Or). The grapes for a Mâcon-Villages can come from one or more of 43 villages and if they come from just one village then that’s when you may see the village name instead of ‘Villages’. In the case of this wine, the grapes come from more than one village and the Chameroy refers to the Clos Chameroy where the wine was bottled. I suspect it’s on the label to make the wine sound a bit more exciting.
And it needs it. I thought this was a really dull wine and I really hope I’m going to be able to find more interesting Chardonnays in my (admittedly arbitrary) price bracket. On the nose we had lemon and lime with some slightly ‘warmer’ fruit – particularly some honeydew melon. There was also some creaminess. On the palate, there was much more citrus, a nice line of acidity and just a touch of creaminess which leant the wine some weight. The palate finished with bitter almonds which I didn’t particularly enjoy. All of this (perhaps bar the bitter almonds) is exactly what you’d expect but there’s no personality there at all.
My disappointment with this wine was best measured by the fact that it took me something like 4 days to finish the bottle*. And then, just to cheer me up a bit more!, I read a write up of the Shaw+Smith M3 Chardonnay. This is a lovely wine which retails for about twice the price of the Latour.
Given the choice, I’d choose the M3 and drink half as much.
* I didn’t actually finish it – I donated the last half a glass to make gravy.