Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran 2021, Burgundy, France

The lovely village of Saint-Verand (note the different spelling), wedged between these two areas, is half hidden among the hills. Established by decree on January 6,1971, it is the latest appellation in the Maconnais region. Its Jurassic chalky soil, a continuation of the limestone strata found in the Cote d’Or, is ideal for growing Chardonnay grapes. Picked by hand, the 100 percent Chardonnay grapes are gently pressed. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and is bottled before summer to capture the freshness and fruitiness of the wine. Bottling is usually done in the spring following harvest. Saint-Veran is very close stylistically to Pouilly-Fuisse, with its golden-green hue, its intense fruity, flowery nose and its refreshing flavors. It can be enjoyed very young, two-to-three months after bottling. Yet, give it one or two more years to fully appreciate its complexity. The vagaries of the 2021 vintage have greatly affected yields, resulting in one of the smallest harvests Burgundy has ever seen. The whites are less opulent than previous vintages; they are well-balanced with lovely aromatics without excessive extravagance.