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Louis Latour Macon-Lugny “Les Genievres” 2018

Hello everyone

Yesterday I was reminded of two things. First was just how good the Louis Latour Macon-Lugny “Les Genievres” 2018 really is. Proper white burgundy for £16.99 per bottle. The wine has an attractive bright yellow-gold hue. It is largely characterised by its subtle, inviting aromas, of lemon curd, Devonshire cream, honey, and nectarines. On the palate the wine is silky, coating the mouth. The flavours are intense, mirroring the aromas. Then, there`s the scrumptious aftertaste, of almonds, which lingers on. This is a wine which punches above its weight, subtly rich, while simultaneously refreshing.  It was produced in the south of Burgundy`s Mâconnais region, around the village of Lugny, in mostly limestone and clay soils. The grape? Well, Chardonnay of course – a fine, elegant, and pure expression of the Chardonnay grape, from thirty-year vines, produced in a minimalist way with no oak whatsoever. Instead of using wooden barrels, Louis Latour chooses to undergo alcoholic fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, which is followed by secondary, malolactic fermentation, whereupon malic (apple) acid is converted to lactic (milk) acid. The wine derives much of its creamy texture through the process, while retaining its freshness. While being a cool climate wine, it has a sunny complexion, and I love it! And while I was reminded of just how good this wine really is, I was reminded also of another thing: of the last time I smelled and tasted oak in Chardonnay, when I really did not like it.  I was judging a wine competition, during the early days of Covid, and too many oaked white burgundies smelled and tasted dull to me. It wasn`t the flavour components of oak in wine which bothered me, the vanilla, or the coconut. I can sometimes quite like these, though more so when they are integrated with the components of the wine. No, it was the lack of balance and freshness I did not like, the sense they had been dulled and made stale by use of oak. Perhaps Louis Latour are on to something. I wonder if oak in Chardonnay has had its day.

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