Tasted in Lugny, 22nd April 2015 with Marc Sangoy and Marjorie Brayer.
Cave de Lugny
995 Rue des Charmes
Tel: +33 3 85 33 22 85+33 3 85 33 22 85
Here is another co-operative that first saw the light of day in 1927 and it is now ‘fused’ with the Cave Cooperative de Chardonnay and Bisse plus the Cooperative of St.Gengoux de Scisse. This being France, they have, of-course, retained the sites of other coops and now have 50 full-time employees.
All in all, 400 producers are represented here, totaling 1,400 hectares of vines and 6.5 million bottles of wine – making this the biggest producer in the whole of burgundy – producing 30% of all Mâcon wine and even 6% of all Burgundy! About 15% of their production is Crémant, which also makes them the largest producer in Burgundy, but in terms of commercialisation they are number 3 behind Bouillot and Ambal as they sell much through the trade. Depending on the vintage, 30-40% of their production goes to the ‘big name’ négoce of Beaune, including other producers of Crémant. They also sell about 300,000 bottles per year from their shop!
Overall, export and home-market sales are roughly equal.
About 90% of production here is chardonnay, including the Crémant. “The style here is for dry wines without makeup (oak!)” Says Marc Sangoy. “We use stainless steel, and keep much lees for almost everything, only a small label ‘Part des Anges’ sees a little oak.” Given the volumes here, ‘small label’ translates to a barrel cellar of up to 300 barrels, and even a few foudres.
Walking around the facility and seeing the presses, I had a feeling that I was on the set for filming ‘War of the Worlds!’ The bottling lines (there are more than one) are just as impressive – the one I saw filled 8,000 bottles per hour, all under negative pressure (partial vacuum) to minimise the ingress of oxygen.
Marc notes that the cave here have close to a monopoly of the Mâcon-Lugny label, and that they are the biggest producers of Mâcon-Chardonnay.
Because of low harvest volumes, they’ve almost been forced to speed up the bottling of some 2014 cuvees – like this. Marc describes this cuvée as a ‘classic assembly of different Mâcon locations.’
No sharp edges on the nose and with a nice silky impression. Wide, good freshness and a lovely growing intensity of fresh flavour. The flavour holds on very well indeed – super length. Excellent even before you see a price below €6!
Wide, ripe lemon with some saline impression. You might not be surprised if you were told it was Chablis. An impact of weight is the first impression followed by mouth-watering intensity and a growing mineral base. Decent sweetness and quite some finishing flavour. Much more mineral. A very tasty wine indeed.
2013 Mâcon-Chardonnay Grande Réserve
A tighter nose, just a little more savoury, direct and mineral in the mouth with a fine fresh intensity. Ouf – with super finishing energy. Very, very good, just a shame that the nose is not very expressive…. The last drops in the glass have a more interesting fresh pear impression.
Name of the lieu-dit. Handling is the same as the previous wines, except just a little longer in tank.
A faint extra sweetness to this nose – its modest but inviting. Silky, more concentrated, a little herb in the mid-palate. Super wine – fine balance too.
2013 Mâcon-Lugny Les Charmes
This vineyard right across the road from the cave. Some muscaté vines here.
A sweet fresh and ripe fruit here – very pretty indeed. Big, round, here is minerality and density – actually I find this quite hard today, it’s really for drinking in another 2-3 years, super length here. Serious wine to wait for.
2012 Mâcon-Lugny La Carte
Not yet commercialising the 2013. 2008 was the first vintage for both these lieu-dit wines.
An impression of freshness despite a ripe core of yellow fruit. Rounder, a little richer, full of concentration but still with an underlying acidity that’s quite good – I expect it will become even better with age. Fresher in the finish though, with some dry material.
Prices of their lieu-dit wines is much higher – almost €7.50 ! Les Beluses 13 is a cracking buy, maybe I have more of a problem with the 12 because of that vintage