Claude Manciat - Marie Pierre Chardonnay Bourgogne 22

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It's always challenging to grow grapes and make wine in Burgundy. It takes tremendous dedication and an iron constitution to deal with the annual myriad of potential obstacles and pitfalls.

Burgundy's last few growing seasons and harvests have been increasingly tricky, punishing growers with a seemingly endless array of severe weather-related maladies. Along with these difficulties, the never-ending demand for these wines has kept prices rising for years. The good news is that the Bourgogne appellated bottlings still offer a way to enjoy Burgundy at very reasonable prices.

Bourgogne (Burgundy in English) appellated wines are the perfect way to enjoy Red and White Burgundy without spending a fortune. Wines with the Bourgogne designation are sourced from vineyards across the broader Burgundy region rather than specific villages or vineyard sites. This fits perfectly with my classic AWM mantra of finding a top-tier producer and drilling down to their entry-level wines. These entry-level bottlings are made with the same love, attention to detail, and quality as their more prestigious and pricey counterparts, allowing you to savor the unmistakably classic character of Chardonnay from Burgundy at a very reasonable price.

Marie Pierre Manciat is the current owner of Domaine Manciat-Poncet. Following her father Claude Manciat's footsteps, she's continuing the family's multi-generational winemaking legacy in Burgundy. Marie-Pierre has significantly increased the family vineyard holdings over the years, and her property in the Mâcon winds across dozens of sustainably farmed prime vineyards.

You may remember the Clos Noly label from Marie-Pierre that I've prominently featured over the last eight or nine years. That was the original wine my late friend Craig Baker and I sourced from Marie-Pierre -- named after the family's most famous vineyard. The Clos Noly vineyard and part of the surrounding area have been elevated to Premier Cru status, so we can no longer use Clos Noly for our second label project with Marie-Pierre. Appropriately, as an homage to her father, Marie-Pierre chose "Claude Manciet" as the new label.

Marie-Pierre owns twenty-three hectares spread out across five villages. Each vineyard is meticulously managed, and she is hyper-focused on producing perfect fruit. The estate practices sustainable viticulture with yields routinely twenty to thirty percent lower than allowed in each appellation. This emphasis on quality instead of quantity empowers Marie-Pierre to craft rich, powerful, focused wines, emphasizing each terroir's calcaire-rich soils. Her wines consistently overachieve and represent the best in Burgundy for value and quality.

Marie-Pierre finishes her Bourgogne Chardonnay in used, neutral 228-liter barrels to add lush texture and mouth-feel without adding any nuance of oak on the nose or palate. In your glass, the result is a Chardonnay with exceptional depth and character, showcasing the gorgeous terroir of Burgundy. The nose screams calcaire-limestone and is framed by yellow stone fruits with hints of lemon curd on the palate, leading to a rich yet focused finish. It's a perfect balance of fruit and mineral elements throughout the finish.

This classic White Burgundy is perfect for immediate enjoyment and will continue to improve in the bottle for the next couple of years. Pair this with your favorite poultry and white meat preparations, and it will also do very well with grilled or pan seared fish.

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