2012 Benjamin et Mallory Talmard Mâcon-Uchizy
 
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Domaine Talmard When Night Falls Over Uchizy

Our December trip to Burgundy was filled with surprises. The 2013 vintage, decried by the press, was indeed challenging. But amidst plenty of barrels of insipid Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, there was a stunning silver lining. For those who attacked their vines rigorously throughout the cold, wet summer, the crop load would be tiny. But as is so often the case from the Côte de Beaune to Mâcon, the last few weeks before harvest brought the most meticulously tended roads to magical maturity. Chez Bonhomme, Corsin, La Croix de Senaillet and Terres de Chatenay, we tasted Chardonnays that outpoint the most brilliant 2010s and 2012s!

The second surprise was in the demand curve. With small harvests in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the market has never been so tight. Michel Ampeau told us he had sold barrels of Meursault in bulk for MORE than he's selling 10-year-old white Burgundies in bottle! Gilles Corsin, who splits his time between the Domaine Corsin cellars and his courtier practice, where he hunts down barrels of Pouilly-Fuissé for the likes of Jadot and Duboeuf, told us, "There is nothing to buy. When you find something that's decent, the growers are asking for a fortune."

It was with all this in mind that we began our bargain-hunting adventure in the Mâconnais in December. The days were filled with sunshine, but the nights were blustery and cold. We'd visit two dozen cellars in three days, most on the recommendation of other growers. One after another, either there was nothing to sell, or the price tag in euros coupled with the continued weakness of the dollar left us reaching for a roll of TUMS.

It wouldn't be until the last day of our trip that Gilles Corsin called with a tip. One of the most revered estates in the Mâconnais, set on the undulating hillsides of Uchizy just a few clicks from Vire and Clessé, had terminated a partnership with an importer. A few hundred cases could be had of what Corsin called "the top bargain in the Mâconnais." At 4 p.m. on December 4th, with the nighttime chill beginning to creep into our bones, we hustled up the Route Nationale toward the storied cellar of Paul Talmard.

We first tasted Paul Talmard's scintillating Mâcon-Uchizy in the early 1980s. Talmard was "un terrien," a winemaker far more concerned with his vines than his business. These were strikingly mineral Chardonnays, flashy and piercing on the attack, often seemingly kissed with sweetness, though under analysis, the wines were bone-dry. Known as much for their age-worthiness as for their out-of-the-gate flash, we were still pulling 1980s from our cellars in the early 1990s. As we'd learn by the time we left the left Uchizy under a star-filled sky, the apple didn't fall far from the tree chez Talmard.

Paul's daughter is Mallory. His son-in-law is Benjamin. In the superb 2012 growing season, the couple turned out a Mâcon-Uchizy that put most of the overpriced Pouilly-Fuissés in their place.

The 2012 Mallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uchizy is BRILLIANT pale golden to the edge. Infused with mouthwatering aromas of ripe apple and white peach, licorice and orchard-pit minerality, the attack is rich and seemingly sweet (though the wine is BONE-DRY), offering up the kind of honeysuckle opulence more typical of far more expensive appellations. Marvelously persistent and vibrant, the finish goes on forever, arguing, as has always been the case chez Talmard, for a decade of cellar slumber.


Tasting Notes

2012 Benjamin et Mallory Talmard Mâcon-Uchizy
"BRILLIANT pale golden to the edge. Infused with mouthwatering aromas of ripe apple and white peach, licorice and orchard-pit minerality, the attack is rich and seemingly sweet (though the wine is BONE-DRY), offering up the kind of honeysuckle opulence more typical of far more expensive appellations. Marvelously persistent and vibrant, the finish goes on forever, arguing, as has always been the case chez Talmard, for a decade of cellar slumber."
-- WineAccess Travel Log


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