Descending into the cellar with Dominique at Comte Lafon, it became clear I was about to begin a comprehensive masterclass on White Burgundy. While Lafon's reds may still be the most under-appreciated Pinot Noirs of the Côte de Beaune, his whites from an array of parcels in Meursault and the Macon are a gold standard.

The Macon wines see the same organic and biodynamic viticulture approach as his Meursault vines. The distinction between the two in the cellar comes down to aging, with Macon's more luscious fruit finding the tension they need through aging in larger formats giving less oxygen exchange. Bottling also takes place well before the Meursault cuvées, again to preserve the snap and precision that works so well in this warmer, more southern appellation.

Le Monsard was a "wow" moment for me, even after tasting Lafon's excellent Meursaults. Likely the highest-altitude vineyard in Maconnais, this site sees warmer temperatures and a more fruit-forward profile than the Côte de Beaune, with another level of detail and mineral backbone.

Lafon's entire lineup from the Macon is terrific and well worth your attention, but the 2019 Viré-Clessé is in a league of its own. The wine embodies Macon's ability to turn out razor-precise Chardonnay, still founded upon the same regal structure that makes Lafon's Meursault so enviable. Of course, with much more palatable pricing!

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