The southern part of Burgundy offers a lot of treasures yet I have normally stopped my wine quest when I have reached the village of Chassagne-Montrachet.
This year I have however decided to make an effort to uncover the appellations south of Chassagne. Now you presumably ask yourself – will this bring the Winehog all the way to the Rhone valley? I can however reassure you .. NO … but I will not rule out that some delightful Beaujolais will be on my tasting program in 2018.
So far my quest has brought me to Maranges – south of Santenay – hence also south of Chassagne.
The affordable south
So why look south? To be honest the prices of Burgundies have now reached a level where everyday drinking is difficult to either afford or justify. I know many collectors that still could afford to drink Burgundies from the main appellations each day – but in fact they don’t, as its sort of mind-bending to enjoy a 100 EUR/USD bottle on a Tuesday evening.
The appellations like Maranges, Santenay and Saint-Aubin do offer a lot of quality for the money, and will ensure that everyday enjoyment is possible without the numbers adding up to a headache or an accountants nightmare.
The appellations down south do furthermore offer true complexity and terroirs that are worth exploring – just as the lesser and overlooked appellations in the northern part of Burgundy – areas like Comblanchien and Aloxe-Corton outside the Corton Grand Cru.
I have have however seen that even very selective Burgundy drinkers and collectors have embraced Saint-Aubin … and its now one of the go to appellations – and in a sense as popular as Chassagne-Montrachet in the restaurants.
Saint Aubin is however also becoming expensive and I’m here to advocate that the appellations like Santenay and Maranges also offer treats that are worth exploring.
The Maranges appellation offer wines with a good acidity and a quite sturdy structure, and this is in my view very interesting in times with the effects of global warming. I do therefore see a fine potential in the Maranges appellation.
Me and Maranges
The financial side also got me started with Maranges – I needed 4 cases of red Burgundy for a family celebration – and with a limited budget (remember to subscribe to Winehog) a wine merchant (Vinrosen in Copenhagen) suggested a 2002 Maranges from Domaine Chevrot – it was in 2004 and the fruity and forward 02 vintage was just released.
It was a great choice – the guests really enjoyed the wine – and I had a few bottles left that I consumed with great pleasure over the next 10 years – and the wine really developed beautifully over the years.
So – Chevrot and I go back more than 15 years … but my June 2017 visit was my first at the estate in Cheilly-Lès-Maranges.
The Chevrot estate
Domaine Chevrot is one of the very best estates in Maranges, they produce mainly Maranges and Santenay, and they are very much into organic viticulture and is certified organic – with the prestigious “Argriculture Biologique” certificat.
It’s a family estate run by the two brothers Pablo and Vincent Chevrot + the rest of the family. Domaine Chevrot is very popular amongst the collegues in Burgundy who admire their work and the wines they make and. The acclaim they get from other producers is strong and persistent … so this is definitely a top estate in the southern end of Burgundy.
They work hard at Domaine Chevrot – and the 2016 vintage was very hard indeed – with the April frost destroying one part of the harvest and the mildew doing its best to devastate the rest. In the end Chevrot had to fight the conditions to salvage at least some of the harvest – I’m glad they succeeded. The Chevrots are organic at heart and work very seriously with the organic principles and also considering a fully biodynamic viticulture. It’s however a large estate – so this conversion is a big task.
Tasting of the 2016s from Domaine Chevrot from cask
Firstly – it’s important to emphasise that these are wines for collectors searching pleasure and not points.
The qualities of the Chevrot wines can not be measured in points – nothing can in reality – but the pleasure and drinkability of these wines often match that of more prominent wines made in Côte de Nuits. This also means that readers should disregard the usual – not below 90p filter – and take a closer look or better still – a glass.
The reds are vinified without sulphur and this is one of the reasons why they offer such lovely drinkability. The fruit is charming, forward and vibrant.
All wines were tasted from cask in the cellar at Domaine Chevrot – on June 21st.
Domaine Chevrot, Aligote 2016
I do love a good aligote – and while youthful – the Chevrot Aligote 2016 does qualify. The fruit is still quite forward with some exotic orchard fruits in the bouquet. On the palate fresh acidity and a nice generous youthful fruit – nice volume and balance. Good (84 – 86p)
Domaine Chevrot, Maranges Blanc 2016
A fine and vibrant Bourgogne Blanc. The nose offer a pure and youthful exotic fruit – white peach infused with a nice minerality. On the palate lovely feisty acidity – quite generous fruit – the trade of the 2016 whites it seems. Lovely balance and drikability. Good (84 – 86p)
Domaine Chevrot, Santenay Blanc 2016
This is a step up – nice mineral focus and fresh acidity. The nose offer a lovely vivacious white fruit – infused with a lovely limestony minerality. On the palate quite intense for the level with a nice minerally focused finish. Have a soft spot for white Santenay – nicely structured. Good (86 – 87p)
Domaine Chevrot, Maranges 1er cru Fussière Blanc 2016
Now we are talking … the Maranges Fussieres is quite a step up – to a very interesting terroir. The nose offer deep and cool fruit infused with a most charming saline note. On the palate lovely intensity – vibrant and quite intense – with a lovely saline minerality. A very interesting terroir – I really enjoyed this wine as the salinity is very interesting and charming. Very Good (87 – 89p)
Please note that the Fussiére Blanc will be blended with the Maranges Blanc in one cuvée due to the small quantities – hence a better Maranges Blanc in 2016 (get some).
— and the reds
Domaine Chevrot, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2016
Fresh, forward and vibrant red. It’s pure, enjoyable with a nice intensity. Love the forward and expressive style and the delicate drinkability. Entry level – yet not simple – but simply enjoyable. Above Average (84 – 85)
Domaine Chevrot, Hautes Côte de Beaune 2016
The Hautes Côte de Beaune is a step up – a more serious wine in a sense. The nose offer vibrant and pure fruit – nice mineral impression with a salty note. On the palate also quite saline – quite some character and intensity. A lovely wine in its own right. Good (85 – 86p)
Domaine Chevrot, Maranges Rouges 2016
The Maranges rouges is a large production (10000+ btl) – but is nevertheless a fine cuvée. 30% whole cluster in this wine in 2016. The nose offer delicate fruit – red and dark cherries – infused with a nice minerality. On the palate quite intense for the level with with a energetic and floral fruit. This is showing very well – offering plenty of drinkablity. Good (85 – 87p)
Domaine Chevrot, Santenay 2016
The Santenay village is a notch up in quality – 50% whole cluster her – and a very juicy and vibrant wine. Lovelely expressive nose with plenty of red and dark cherries. On the palate lovely mineral driven fruit – quite refined and delicate for this level. Very enjoyable – Good+ (85 – 87p)
Domaine Chevrot, Maranges 1er cru Les Clos Roussots 2016
Slightly cooler it seems, very delicate and perfumed. The nose is bursting with variations of cherries and some perfumed notes of asian spices. On the palate elegant and vibrant with a lovely airy feel. Showing the best sides of Maranges – and why its worth getting to know the appellation. Good+ (86 – 88p).
Domaine Chevrot, Santenay 1er cru Clos Rousseau 2016
This from a terroir in the very southern end of Santenay. The bouquet offer a crisp and forward fruit brought forward by a limestony minerality. On the palate fine fruit – especially like the generous sweet fruit note on the mid-palate. Floral and chalky – whats not to like – Good++ (87 – 89p)
Domaine Chevrot, Maranges 1er cru Le Croix Moines 2016
Le Croix Moines – the Conti of Maranges so to speak a tremendous vineyard – see my article about this special wine. The 2016 edition is a lovely wine in the making – somehow more substantial than the 2014 offering – slightly more intensity. The nose is bursting with red and dark fruit – beautifully complex with a symphony of oriental spices. On the palate airy and vibrant fruit – very fine intensity and balance. Really love the intriguing spiciness – curry, allspice and cinnamon + violets ginger and elderflowers – its all there. Very Good indeed a very interesting wine (89 – 91p)