Review: La Crochette 2018
Reproduced with permission from the Oxford University Wine Society.
Jane MacQuitty is a firm believer that decanters are overused. Instead, she encourages pouring straight from bottle into glass, to savour the changing feel, flavours and aromas of the wine. The point is that aside from a select number of very old wines, there is not an abstract ideal of the wine in question that can be attained by a precise aeration. By allowing the wine to develop in the glass, you get a fuller appreciation of what you're drinking by understanding how it changes.
I told myself the same applies to temperature after forgetting how temperamentally arctic college mini-fridges are, taking La Crochette 2018 only out five minutes before drinking. Yet even way too cold, this excellent value wine from Macon-Village gave off appealing citrus aromas of lime and lemon and proved a refreshing match for the creamy Vacherin that accompanied the wine.
La Crochette really came into its own after about twenty minutes in the glass as the slightly steely austerity gave way to greater floral aromas- think elderflower, white blossom- and a rounder, but still precise flavour profile of apricot, green apples and a rising hint of tangerine zest. This ripeness and approachability makes sense given that this wine is from the southernmost, and therefore warmest, tip of Burgundy, meaning the grapes are more fully ripened than chardonnay would be further north. This is a totally different drink from Chablis at the opposite end of the region, but still manages to maintain a structure more expensive wines would be proud of. Most impressively, the honeyed notes really came to the fore when drunk with the rich and resinous Vacherin. It's something of a truism that cheeses are much more forgivingly paired with white rather than red wines, but this really felt complimentary rather than enjoying two nice things separately.
By the time we reached the end of the bottle, the wine felt like a lightly perfumed breeze, gently coming through an open bedroom window that looked out, inevitably, onto a rolling meadow. This presage of spring was most welcome on a wintery November evening. Whilst I suspect this was not the objective Maison Jean Loron had in mind during the vinification process, it does show that good Macon-Villages can stand up to strongly flavoured foods (as well as cheese, chicken and white sauce dishes would also go well) but also works evocatively on its own. A versatile wine to enjoy for any occasion.