Without a doubt, White Burgundy is one of the highest quality wines in the world. This acclaimed drink, made exclusively from Chardonnay on limestone soil, displays the perfect balance between boldness and smoothness.
Traditionally, this wine was exported from Chablis, the world leader in Chardonnay production. However, White Burgundy from Chablis has become so popular in recent years that its price has skyrocketed.
Mâconnais: the new white burgundy
As a result, winemakers in the hilly Mâconnais region, the world’s second-leading leader in Chardonnay production, have made an effort to create their own White Burgundy. In the past, this area was known for producing large quantities of cheap wine. But now, the region is starting to improve its quality to keep up with the competition.
Mâconnais White Burgundy is generally much more affordable than Chablis White Burgundy. And as time goes on, the gap in quality between the two is closing.
The Mâconnais region contains a ton of limestone soil, making it the ideal spot to produce the wine. Most of the wine made here is labeled “Mâcon-Villages” or with a specific village name. Five other villages in the area have their own wine labels.
One of the most notable wine-making villages in the region is Pouilly-Fuissé, the most popular of the five other villages. Other villages include Saint-Véran, Pouilly-Vinzelles, Pouilly-Loché, and Viré-Clessé. The wine produced in Mâconnais is usually fruitier and less oaky than the wine from their northern neighbors.
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed next time you’re browsing through the liquor store. Feel confident that your wine is quality when you buy Mâconnais White Burgundy.
Still, lost? Don’t worry. Saucey has you covered. With so many wines nowadays, it can be hard to choose what is best for you. Here is the in-depth list of our favorite and most affordable White Burgundy wines.
Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015
Louis Jadot is well known for its quality Burgundy. They are famous for their high standard of terroir and typicity, even with their entry-level wines.
The brand was founded in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot, a Belgian. The company’s cellars are located in the heart of Beaune, in what looks like a 19th century-styled mansion.
Eventually, in 1962, after being owned by three generations of Jadots, the company’s managing director gained control of the business. His name was André Gagey. In 1991, his son, Pierre-Henry Gagey, became president of the brand.
One of Andre Gagey’s most impactful decisions as an owner was appointing Jacques Lardier as his assistant and technical director in 1970. Lardier was a brilliant young winemaker that would take the company to a new level of success.
By the time he retired in 2012, he was known as one of Burgundy’s best winemakers of all time. His protégé Frederic Barnier would take over after his retirement and still remains at Louis Jadot today.
In 2015, the brand released several new Burgundy wines that performed well. It was a warm and moist season that year, and it is rare to have these favorable growing conditions. When harvested at the right time, Chardonnay contains a density, smoothness, and otherwise absent elegance.
These attributes are well apparent in the Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015, which has fresh floral aromas and a rich, fruity palate. It is one of the purest expressions of Burgundy in the world—and it’s only about $20.
Louis Jadot was able to capitalize on this season and bring to life several new products. For the time being, it seems that the brand is in good hands.
Dom Leflaive – Macon Verze 14 White Burgundy
Hailing from the Mâcon Verzé country, the Dom Leflaive – Mâcon Verzé 14 White Burgundy is a fairly complex wine. It features a buttery, smooth taste.
You can find this wine for $51.99 for a 750 ml bottle. It has a 12.5% ABV and pairs well with lighter meats like chicken and turkey.
Wine production in the Mâcon Verzé village dates back to 1670. However, it didn’t really take off until 1960, when a cooperative bottling line was started at Château de Vaux. This move significantly helped raise the quality of wine in this area.
The region borders Mâcon Igé to the north, and Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse to the south. The vineyards face the west, sitting on a long slope between 280 and 410 meters high (920-1,345 feet).
In the south and east of this area, the soil is mostly limestone and marl. In the west, though, there are zones with higher concentrations of iron. The grapes in the west are usually Gamay.
Cuvée Delaye Saint-Véran Les Pierres Grises 2017
This wine comes from the Maconnais area in southern Burgundy. The Cuvée Delaye Saint-Véran Les Pierres Grises 2017, like most other White Burgundy wines, is 100% Chardonnay.
This wine has a pretty, light yellow hue to it. It smells of zesty lemons, dried yellow flowers, and mustard seeds. It is a medium-bodied wine and has a respectable density and balance.
Fans of this wine particularly enjoy its moderate wood notes and dry finish, as well as its solid acidity. It is best enjoyed in the first two to three years after purchasing it.
Vins Auvigue Saint-Véran 2014
For those who love sweet wine, the Vins Auvigue Saint-Véran 2014 might be for you. This wine has a vibrant, alluring yellow color, and it smells of Anjou pears, vanilla, and dried, yellow flowers.
Medium-bodied, this wine has depth and a variety of notes. It has a dry finish with relatively strong acidity. Notably, its aftertaste has a soft touch of green herbs.
Pair this wine with some light seafood, and you’re in good hands. The Vins Auvigue Saint-Véran 2014 is widely available and can be found under $20 at most stores.
Monthélie 1er Cru “Sur La Velle” Laurent & Karen Boussey 2014
Made in the village of Monthélie, south of Volnay in the Cote de Beaune, is the delicious Monthélie 1er Cru “Sur La Velle” Laurent & Karen Boussey 2014. This trendy wine is light yellow in appearance and carries aromas of lemon custard, tamarind, and golden apple.
It is medium-bodied with fairly strong acidity. This wine contains amazing spice notes of cumin and coriander in its finish. It is regarded for its craftsmanship and quality.
For its value, few other wines offer as much complexity as this one. You can find this wine at most local retailers for under $30.
Hervé Azo Petit Chablis 2017
Chablis wine is named after the district in Burgundy where it is produced. Located smack in the middle of Beaune and Paris, the Chablis production zone is found northeast of the main vineyards of Burgundy. It is known as a satellite district. Intriguingly, it is actually closer to the city of Champagne than Beaune.
Chablis is made entirely from Chardonnay. There are many variations of the wine, usually based on where it is from. You will find many wines from Grand Cru, one of the finest vineyards near Chablis. You may even see some wines from Petit Chablis, describing the vineyards on the outskirts of Chablis.
The Hervé Azo Petit Chablis 2017 is a safe introduction to Chablis. It is light yellow in hue and carries lovely aromas of yellow peach, lemon, and buttercup.
This wine is medium-bodied with moderate acidity and an impressive varietal character. It is distinguished by its strong finish and even balance of flavors and aromas. You can expect to pay around $20 for a bottle of this Chablis.
In recent years, the Mâconnais region has been somewhat divided, though. After about a decade of land disputes, the first major crus in the Mâconnais was instated in November 2017, located in Pouilly-Fuissé. The initiative was led by Frédéric-Marc Burrier, proprietor of family estate Maison Joseph Burrier and president of the Union des Producteurs de Pouilly-Fuissé.
With this change, producers can start mass-bottling their own wines instead of just selling the grapes to outside coordinators. As these producers start working, they will rely on the advice of local producers for guidance and producers all over Burgundy.
Wine prices in the Côte d’Or are reaching unthinkable heights. For most people, that means it’s time to start looking for some new White Burgundy. Unless it’s for a special occasion, there simply is no reason to indulge in such overpriced wines.
Fortunately, the Pouilly-Fuissé region is showing some promise. Interestingly, famous Meursault producer Dominique Lafon has invested in the area, launching his White Burgundy brand, Heritiers du Comte Lafon, in 1999. This wine is based on high-altitude and old vines. Puligny-Montrachet producer Domaine Leflaive also began exploring the region in 2004.
With how unpredictable the weather can be in this region, every White Burgundy harvest is different. Sometimes, the weather just isn’t good enough to produce quality burgundy. Producers aim to find a flawless balance between sugariness and ripeness in their wines. With climate change further complicating things, this task has become even more difficult.
Nowadays, it is possible to find some delicious Mâconnais wine for a reasonable price. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to enjoy White Burgundy. Check out Saucey for a wide selection of different burgundies, as well as other wines.