Dave McIntyre     Special To The Washington Post - Photo

FOR SIPPING: From left Cave de Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay 2019; Trenel 2020; Celine & Laurent Tripoz Crémant de Bourgogne Nature Brut. Jennifer Heffner/The Washington Post 

Chardonnay fans - and let's admit it, even if we subscribe to the "anything but" ideology, we all are fans when we taste a good one - know to look to the Mâconnais in France for value and quality. This is an area around the town of Mâcon, north of Lyon but south of Beaune and the prestigious (and expensive) Côte d'Or vineyards of Burgundy fame. The village of Chardonnay, which lends its name to the grape, is here, and the grape is believed to have originated in this region. I'll spare you a discussion of chardonnay's DNA and family tree, which is worthy of a daytime soap opera. Just remember that Mâcon is Burgundy, quality and value.

Most often you will see Mâcon Villages on a wine label, but you will also find the regional Mâcon appended with other village names. Just look for Mâcon. There are a few sub-appellations such as St. Véran, Pouilly-Vinzelles and Pouilly-Loché that don't carry the Mâcon name on their labels, but you probably won't see these very often unless you dive down the Mâconnais rabbit hole.

For this week's selections, we have two chardonnays and a Crémant de Bourgogne sparkling wine from one of my favorite Mâconnais producers. These wines show what chardonnay can do in its homeland.

Great value: Cave de Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay 2019

Two stars

Mâcon Lugny, Burgundy, France, $15

Limpid, elegant, white flowers, peach and apricot with a slightly herbal finish. This is a wine to match all sorts of food, and to facilitate conversation rather than dominate it. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent. Bottle Weight: 500 grams (Average).

Imported by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits.

Great value: Trenel 2020

Three stars

Mâcon Villages, Burgundy, France, $19

Ripe and full-bodied, with more intensity than the Cave de Lugny, this may appeal more to fans of California chardonnay, even though it doesn't show the oak influence typical of that style. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 415 grams (Light).

Imported by Folio Fine Wines.

Celine & Laurent Tripoz Crémant de Bourgogne Nature Brut

Three stars

Burgundy, France, $36

From one of my favorite Mâconnais producers, this sparkling wine made from chardonnay shines with depth and finesse, with notes of white flowers. This is an ideal wine for before dinner or with light appetizers, perfect for turning a weekday into a celebration. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 765 grams (Sparkling).

Imported by Elite Wines.

Prices are approximate. For availability, check Wine.com, Wine-searcher.com and the websites of the wineries, importers or distributors.


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