Louis Max Sud “La Belle Vie” Chardonnay 2016

There’s no such thing as a fail-safe concept in the wine world, but this might be as close as it gets: A Burgundy winery brings its chardonnay expertise to a Languedoc site (meaning cheaper grapes) that is ideally suited to grow the variety. The result: Louis Max Sud “La Belle Vie” Chardonnay 2016 ($16), a seriously tasty, balanced, persistent white. It might be on the lean side for oaky/buttery chard fans, but should have enough flavor (citrus, pear and more) and elegance for anyone. I can’t imagine a better crowd-pleaser for holiday gatherings — dandy with appetizers — and it’s also a nice match for most any fish or fowl dish.

Available at Firehouse (Hinckley), Wine Shop, On the Rocks, Northbound (Cambridge), Excelsior Vintage and Mount Royal (Duluth).

BILL WARD