Chardonnay comes in many guises, but one of its most delightful is the 2009 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran.
The Macon is a subregion of Burgundy, and its two most popular wines are Macon-Villages and Pouilly-Fuisse. But during the last two decades, Saint-Veran has developed its own appeal
Nearly all the wines from the Macon are white and made from chardonnay. In 1971, the Saint-Veran appellation was created from six villages adjacent to the Pouilly-Fuisse appellation.
In the 1970s, Pouilly-Fuisse was considered the sophisticated white wine by American consumers, and Macon-Villages the smart choice for good value. During the ensuing decades, chardonnay from California, with its bolder aromas and richer fruit flavors, captured the American palate. In the 1990s, almost like a stealth wine, Saint-Veran began appearing on restaurant wine lists and on retail shelves, its appeal in being the un-California chardonnay.
Saint-Veran has Macon’s pleasant aromas and fruit flavors, but it also has a little more body and acidity and a mineral finish. Add its 12.5 to 13 percent alcohol and an everyday price, and Saint-Veran is a counterpoint to many California chardonnays infused with oak and weighted with high alcohol and $30 to $50 price tags.
The 2009 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran has exactly what the un-California chardonnay drinker wants. Its classic Macon floral scent attracts the nose, and the mix of pear and subtle pineapple-like flavor pleases the palate without overwhelming it. The balance of fruit and acidity, something missing in many New World chardonnays, is the essence of this wine.
Drouhin is a highly respected Burgundy winemaking family with generations of experience. From 1957 to 2003, Robert Drouhin toiled ceaselessly to perfect his wines and educate the American consumer. In 1976, he hired Laurence Jobard, the first female winemaker in Burgundy, and in 1987, he brought new status to Oregon when he purchased land for the first French-owned winery in that state.
Today his four children divide the tasks of their father: Veronique Drouhin-Boss, is the winemaker in Oregon and consults with Drouhin’s Burgundy-based winemaker, Jerome Faure-Brac. Phillippe Drouhin is the viticulturist for both wineries; while Laurent and Frederic Drouhin tend to the business operations.
Try a glass of the 2009 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran with a sautéed chicken breast and mushrooms, veal scaloppini, or the classic escargot a la bourguignon. You’ll be delighted with its suppleness.
The 2009 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran retails for approximately $19.