04 Macle Chateau-Chalon: One More Chance at the Pinnacle of an Illustrious Appellation

Posted by Joe Salamone

One of the Most Compelling Vinous Experiences on Earth-A Second Chance
2004 Macle Château-Chalon
"Yellow Wine" at Its Most Elegant and Ageworthy

"One of those wines that seems to riffle through a repertoire of the natural world as you sniff and sip."
- Andrew Jefford, The New France

Jean and Laurent Macle's Chateau Chalons are simply legendary. They represent Vin Jaune at it most elegant, most mineral, with a depth and longevity that's arguably unrivaled in the region. As the Jefford quote makes clear, these are complex wines: they move from woodsy flavors of mushrooms and pine needles through citrus flavors, spice and yellow plum.

It seems that each month Macle's reputation grows, along with the wines of the Jura in general. What was edgy, marginal and down right bizarre six years ago now seems to be building a critical mass. We've been offering Macle's Chateau Chalon since the 1999 vintage and we're happy to see the domaine's reputation growing. The only issue is that there's never enough of their Chateau Chalon to go around. With only 4ha in the appellation and very low yields, normally in the 24hl/ha range, demand far overwhelms supply.

We recently acquired a second, small parcel of Macle's 04 Chateau Chalon. With the recent spike of interest in Macle, it seemed worthwhile to reoffer this wine out. (Please see below for the original email from May of last year.) To cut to the chase, Macle's Chateau Chalon is a vinicultural treasure. A tasting of 78, 79, 81 and 82 a year ago only confirmed the breed and importance of these wines.

Chateau Chalons are wines that you track over a lifetime, sixty or a hundred years isn't an unreasonable age for these, and the 04 vintage with its combination of concentration and balance promises to be epic.

Macle's Chateau Chalons are thrilling, compelling, and thus, recommended. However, a warning is needed: the wines possess a full-on oxidative tang. For those who can get beyond this, and have the patience to age them, the wines represent some of the best the world has to offer.

We're able to leave pricing the same as the original offer-$94.95 per bottle and $88.33 on 3-packs.

To place your order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.


From May 2011.

For those of you who know well the shocking pungency, the singularly compelling character of Vin Jaune, Jean and Laurent Macle’s Château-Chalons have long served as the benchmark for this illustrious appellation. (Essentially, Château-Chalon represents the pinnacle of Vin Jaune.) Macle farms only four hectares in Château-Chalon; his yields hover around 25 hl/ha, and he has a reputation for crafting the finest wines the Jura has to offer.

A mini-vertical tasting of Macle's 78, 79, 81 and 82 Château-Chalons last fall strongly confirmed the grandeur of this wine. These are simply unforgettable in their elegance and subtle complexity.

With that introduction, today we are very excited to offer Macle's new release, his 2004 Château-Chalon, just emerged from over six years of existential soul-searching in non-topped-up barrels (you can read more about the journey of Vin Jaune here).

If you remember Macle's incredible 2004 Côtes du Jura, you'll know there's reason to be excited about this vintage. The 04 Côtes du Jura was the stoniest, the most full of woodsy complexities of the all the Côtes du Juras we've ever worked with. It's only predictable that the Château-Chalon will likewise reflect that character.

For those of you not familiar with Vin Jaune, we must issue a strong endorsement, with a serious warning: Château-Chalon is one of the most compelling, amazing and bizarre vinous experiences on Earth. *However,* the broad, aggressive pungency of these wines can be like a slap in the face to the uninitiated palate.

Macle's Vin Jaunes are rich and EARTHY, with an overt, oxidative tanginess that calls to mind Sherry, though the heft of the wine and the blazing mineral-driven acidity gives these wines a signature that is utterly unique to the appellation.

Andrew Jefford's description, above, is incredibly apt. Macle’s Château-Chalons always offer up a seriously mind-twisting spectrum of flavors: Marmalade, burnt orange, lemon pith, plums, mushrooms, celery, pine needles, moss, walnut, baking spices, and pure rocky minerality. Macle's ability to weave this nearly endless list of flavors into something of pristine elegance and harmony is absolutely extraordinary.

Though Château-Chalon is fairly unknown in the U.S., the area has been showered with accolades since Roman times. Curnonsky, the famous 20th century Parisian "Prince of Gastronomes" included the wines of Château-Chalon among "the five great white wines of France," along with Montrachet and Yquem.

The real virtues of Château-Chalon begin to flesh out 10-15 years following the vintage, and their longevity is legendary: The lucky few are still singing the praises of 1934 and 1947. These offer you the opportunity to study their evolution over a lifetime, during which time you can perfect your recipe for Chicken with Morels and Vin Jaune.

Indeed, Château-Chalon is a very flexible friend at the dinner table, or for something simpler yet divine, *the* classic pairing is Château-Chalon with Comté cheese. If you do open the wine in the next five years (which is still a lot of fun), we suggest opening 24 hours before you plan on drinking it. Once open, the wine will easily maintain in the fridge for seven to ten days.

Macle's Château-Chalon is always difficult to find in any quantity, and today we have a limited supply of this great vintage at an "en primeur" price of $94.95 (compare that to previous great vintages at $120-140+).

Please give us your maximum order, and we'll make allocations later today. To place your order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2004 Macle Château-Chalon