Dominique Lafon had been eyeing land and property in the Maconnais for some time before he eventually bought some cellars and vineyards around the village of Milly. Here he recognised an opportunity to produce some very good yet very well-priced wines which is exactly what he has achieved. These are intense, complex examples of Mâcon, aged in a mixture of steel tanks, wooden foudres, and demi-muid oak casks.
Two elements have come together this year to form a potent combination. Not only does 2014 seem to be a great white Burgundy vintage but also this domaine, specifically, seems to have made extraordinary strides on its wines, regardless of vintage, over the last couple of years. These are the best wines Dominique has made from the Macon yet. He must be glad he was one of the early investors in the Maconnais back in the late nineties, for he has proved what great quality and terroir character can come out of this region. The crazy prices of land in the Cote d'Or aswell as the fact that Meursault has been hit by hail now twice in three years only emphasises the point further. Hail reared its ugly head in 2014 in Meursault A shame, because the quality is excellent, but it struck 50% of the vineyard area, thus reducing quantities dramatically. No such problems in the Maconnais, a decent sized crop and a uniformly good one at Heritiers des Comtes Lafon.
Macon is an important commercial hub on the river Saône and capital of the Mâconnais wine district of Burgundy, where large quantities of white wine is produced. There is some red wine produced but this is dwarfed by the vast quantities of white wine made and it is rarely seen on export. The Mâconnais does not have an uninterrupted escarpment like that of the Côte d'Or, rather vineyards are planted on rolling limestone/clay hills, amongst other livestock and arable farming. The appellation is as popular as ever, thanks to its ability to produce good, affordable and very approachable examples of White Burgundy. There are now a number of high-quality growers in the region, not least Dominique Lafon who sees enormous potential here. The wines can be from the simple and refreshing, to complex buttery and mineral, whilst not hitting the heights of those from the Côte de Beaune, they can offer excellent quality for the money you pay. Though no more than an hour south of the Côte de Beaune, the climate is warmer here to a significant enough degree to make harvests a good 10 days earlier and the style of wine producer rounder and more buttery. The basic appellation is Mâcon, then up a level is Mâcon-Villages or Mâcon followed by a particular village name such as Milly, Uchizy, Lugny etc .. ;other Appellation Contôlées that can be of extremely high quality are St-Véran; Pouilly-Vinzelles, Pouilly-Loché, and Pouilly-Fuissé.