Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon, 2008

Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon is Meursault specialist Comte Lafon's Macon "side project", which Tomer Gal's Burgundy Wine Collection has started importing this year, along with the more famous parent domaine. I admit I didn't notice it in the catalog, probably because I knew Lafon was out of my price range so I only glanced through the relevant page in the catalog, never bothering to scroll down - which is a shame, as I'm always on the lookout for interesting "value" wines, and the Maconnais fits that description very well. This oversight was corrected when Tomer served the Macon-Milly-Lamartine a couple of months ago as an "appetizer" in a Nuits-St-Georges tasting. This prompted a purchase of a six-pack, comprised of a bottle each of the three village wines in the catalog, across the 2007 and 2008 vintages.

Tomer says both the 2008 and the 2007 vintages are ready, but that perhaps 2008 is readier. This opinion seems to be shared by Burghound, among others, so my strategy is to drink then 2008's first, and see what these wines are like young , then go through the 2007's and see how they behave with a little age on them.

Macon-Uchizy, Les Maranches, 2008

The nose is dominated by green apples, with hints of bananas and tropical fruit, and a welcome helping of chalk/sea-shells/whatever-you-call-it-that-you-smell-in-Chablis (that expands even more with an hour or so of air). The palate follows suit flavor-wise and is crisp yet smoothed by a saline finish that recalls a very brothy, chicken-based dish (having just returned from a traditional Iraqi-Jewish dinner might have affected my associative sensibilities, but I think not). Anything it lacks in complexity is made up by graceful poise that goes hand-in-hand with a striking, yet subtle punch. My benchmarks for value Bourgogne whites were until now the Villaine and Deux Montilles wines from Rully - but this beats them handily - it's probably not that much more delicious but it seems to focus everything it's got so much more brilliantly that it really soars beyond its AOC. This is really almost ethereal wine-making. 140 NIS. (Dec. 10, 2010)

Macon-Chardonnay, Clos de la Crochette, 2008

The nose displays citrus fruit, even citrus rind, and though the marine-like aromas I found in the Uchizy are more obvious (even showing a touch of iodine) , the whole effect is somehow more refined. There is good grip on the palate, where the marine elements I find on the nose are very clearly defined, especially on the saline finish. Lovely acidity as well. Soars to the level of a very decent Chablis Premier Cru before shutting down somewhat, leaving me hesitant to make a choice between the Chardonnay and the Uchizy. But God have mercy on anyone tasting this blind! 140 NIS. (Dec. 16, 2010)

Macon-Milly-Lamartine, Clos du Four, 2008

This is the most self-conflicted and debatable of the 2008 batch, because its aspirations are so Bourgogne-ish that it falls into some of the same pitfalls that await adolescent wines of the Cote d'or. The nose is very complete and the most Meursault-like of the lot, with a nutty note that is backed by citrus fruit and a hint of cardamon. At first, the palate displays some blatant oak that creates a disappointing impression, especially as this was the wine that initially sold me on Heritiers, but it improves with a lot of air and shows a great deal of saline-infused yumminess and winds up being fruity in an understated, Bourgogne way that places emphasis on juicy, sour-sweet citrus - especially tangerine. Delicious, as I've said, but it's obviously less ready than it's brethren. 150 NIS. (Dec. 29, 2010)