Chardonnay 2014, Domaine Macle, Cotes du Jura, France

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It’s not easy to be a rebel in one of France’s smallest and most obscure wine regions, but that’s exactly what Laurent Macle has achieved. In the tiny appellation of Chateau-Chalon where only one wine, the marvellously oxidative Vin Jaune is permitted, Laurent is making clean, crisp, non-oxidative wines in the Burgundian vein. He makes only 4 barrels (or 1000 bottles) of his barrel aged (and fermented!) Chardonnay so as you can imagine it is not easy to come by. Laurent is a wine maker that cares passionately about ‘terroir’ using indigenous yeast and old oak to ferment and age this wine. What results is a keen, dynamic and complex White with lots of apple and pear flavours, excellent acidity as you would expect and only subtle hints of the nutty flavours made famous by its more illustrious big brother.