"Les Charmes" is the flagship bottling of Cave de Lugny, which owns more than 95% of the vineyards in the Mâcon-Lugny appellation. It is made exclusively from old vine Chardonnay from the 195 acre Les Charmes vineyard, the crown jewel of its vast holdings. The voluptuous structure and spicy flavor of Les Charmes is attributed to the rare "Musk clone" Chardonnay, which makes up most of the vineyard. The just-released 2011 Les Charmes is a worthy successor to the excellent 2010. It offers notes of tropical fruit, spicy yellow apple, and honeysuckle, with excellent acidity. Although the wine sees no oak aging, gentle lees stirring provides a creamy richness reminiscent of a more expensive Cote de Beaune. Les Charmes offers significant aging ability of 2 to 4 years.
Whether you are a White Burgundy lover on a budget, or just someone looking for a great house white for everyday imbibing or for parties/weddings/social functions, Cave de Lugny Macon-Villages "La Cote Blanche" is as close to a no-brainer as anything I've ever come across. Despite the absurdly low price, it gives me the sophistication I look for in $25 White Burgundies – nervy, energetic fruit, subtle minerality, and, most elusively of all, the sheer joie de vivre that only well-made White Burgundy can convey. A virtual clone of the 2010 vintage, named Decanter’s #1 Chardonnay under $15, the 2011 "La Cote Blanche" offers up fresh, Chablis-like mineral, yellow fruit and floral notes, followed on the palate, by light, bright, flavors of fresh cut apple, pear, and white flowers. Completely unoaked, it has a sneaky intensity of flavor that persists right through to the energetic finish.-- Ben Giliberti, CW Director of Wine Education
Although the more familiar examples of Vermentino come from northern Italy (particularly Liguria) and the island of Sardinia, the grape variety is also found in France, where it is usually referred to as Rolle. Château Pigoudet, located in the north of the “Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence” appellation, has done something quite innovative here, blending the plump, floral Vermentino (85%) with the bright, steely Sauvignon Blanc (15%), to create a light, cool, sophisticated wine that's as airily refreshing as a Mediterranean breeze. Brilliant pale yellow in color, this offers fresh, floral flavors and aromas of peach, almond and Provençal herbs, with notes of white grape jam hovering in the background.
Once again proprietor Alfred Tesseron has produced a wine of first-growth potential. One of the superstars of the vintage, Pontet-Canet’s 2011 exhibits an opaque purple color and a glorious bouquet of incense, subtle toast and copious quantities of creme de cassis. There is a floral underpinning, decent acidity and ripe tannin to this full-bodied effort. Big, rich, round and generously endowed, it should drink well for 20-25+ years.