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WINE | WINE OF THE WEEK

1998 Domaine de la Bongran Ma^con-Clesse "Cuvee Tradition," Burgundy

March 01, 2000|S. IRENE VIRBILA

Most Macon-Villages wines are fermented in stainless steel, bottled early and appreciated for their youth and freshness. This one is the happy exception. It opens gradually in the glass to reveal a softly perfumed wine that's minerally and complex, graced with an alluring, persistent finish.

Winemaker E.J. Thevenet looks for low yields in the vineyard and gives this village-appellation Chardonnay the same attention and care as he would a premier or grand cru. The price reflects its quality.

The 1998 vintage should just be arriving in the stores now. If you come across any bottles of '97, snap them up; it's an even better vintage. And if you can't find the Ma^con-Clesse, you may be able to turn up some of the same estate's equally interesting Ma^con-Vire.

About $25. Available at fine wine shops. If you can't find this wine, have your retailer contact the distributor, Angeles Wine Agency, at (818) 508-2401.

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