There are still a few great Burgundy values to be found if you look hard enough, and I count the wines of Andre Bonhomme as some of the best. This certified organic estate is based in Vire-Clesse, one of the finest white wine villages in the Macon region. Old vines, organic farming, and meticulous work in the vineyard and the cellar have propelled this estate to mythical status.
These are wines that compete with and often out-class the best of the best Pouilly-Fuisses. Heck, they vie with Premier Cru White Burgundies from the Cote de Beaune. Yet, they cost a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, they are beloved in their home country, gracing the wine lists of many Michelin starred restaurants. Thus, there is not much available and based on past experience, I promise you these will not be around long.
2019 Andre Bonhomme Vire-Clesse ‘Cuvee Speciale’
World Class White Burgundy At A Great Price!
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Bonhomme’s Cuvee Speciale is a wine the estate only makes in top vintages, and 2019 is one that producers, wine writers, and Burgundy lovers are extremely excited about. The year produced rich and concentrated whites that retained balance and elegance.
What makes this wine special is that it comes specifically from the estate's top hillside plots and parcels. Vine age ranges from 45 to 75+ years and like the Vieilles Vignes, all of the vineyards are certified organic and practicing biodynamic. Fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and neutral oak.
As with all of Bonhomme’s wines, there’s tremendous depth and intensity here. The 2019 shows that classic minerality the estate’s wines are known for, but it’s also loaded with ripe and exotic fruit and floral notes too. I get lots of mango, white peach, citrus zest, and floral aromas and flavors. It will sound weird, but I highly recommend decanting this one. It’s a bit shy at first, but with some air and agitation, it opens up beautifully. Drink this one now or over the next 5-7 years.
Also quite delightful and not your typical Macon white, the estate's 2019 Macon-Villages Vieilles Vignes is outstanding this vintage. Produced from 60+ year old, organically tended vines, this offers much more concentration and depth of flavor than 99% of its peers.
2019 Andre Bonhomme Macon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Old vine, concentrated, and layered Macon! One of the best in its class!!
ORDER NOW in our online store.
The Bonhomme family take their craft seriously. They were one of the first in the Maconnais to estate bottle their wines, opting not to sell their grapes to the local co-ops. They were also one of the first to gain organic certification. Those decisions paid off, as today, they are one of the iconic estates of the region.
The quality control story doesn't stop there. All grapes are hand harvested and after fermentation in stainless steel, the wine spends 18 months aging on its fine lees. These are both rare traits for the wines of this region, where production is often mechanized and hurried.
You can taste that attention to detail in the finished wine. Offering up a pale yellow/greenish hue in the glass, it offers up lovely notes of pear, peach, apple, spice, and wet rock. Rich and concentrated on the palate, it remains fresh and balanced by lemony acidity.
Totally drinkable now, the family recommends stashing a few bottles and trying them 5 years from now. Yep, the zingy acidity and intense concentration these 60+ year old vines yield allows this one to hold up much longer than almost any Macon Blanc I can think of.
I know some folks are going to ask me which one is my favorite, and I’m going to tell you right now that I’m not going to answer that questions. Both of these are world-class White Burgundies at wonderful prices. Get some of each.
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