One of the most popular articles on the Winehog site last year was the introduction of Domaine de Cassiopée, a new star estate in Maranges – or more precisely, Sampigny-les-Maranges.
This truly makes me happy, and proud of the readers here. It shows than some people really can see beyond the Vosne grands crus or the big Montrachets.
Time does, however, fly. A year has passed and I am in Maranges again to taste the second vintage – 2021 – from Talloulah et Hugo Mathurin, the lovely couple behind Domaine de Cassiopée.
The Maranges appellation is divided among three villages located south of Santenay and Chassagne-Montrachet, and Domaine de Cassiopée is at the eastern end, at the limit of the 1ers crus.
Sampigny-les-Maranges contains the 1ers crus Les Clos Roussots, Le Clos des Rois, and Le Clos des Loyères.
Cassiopée does not currently own any 1er-cru vines, but does have a number of interesting, old-vine parcels.
The Cassiopée vineyards
Maranges and its surroundings are, vineyard-wise, relatively unknown territory for me, and while there definitely are distinctive terroirs, I will let Talloulah and Hugo Mathurin describe their vineyards in detail – including the yellow car. Thanks to these two for the description; very helpful indeed.
Bourgogne Aligoté Mitancherie: a 0.5-ha plot in Sampigny in front of the ‘Maranges hill,’ where the soil was considered too cold for wine 20 years ago; the vines are 30 years old.
Bourgogne Aligoté En Gerlieus (made 40% in amphorae/60% in barrel): En Gerlieus is located in Chassey-le-Camp, 10 km to the southeast, so no close neighbours, only forest. The aligote vines are 40-100 years old.
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc Les Côtes: two thirds comes from a four-year-old planting on limestone rock, the rest from vines on granitic rock. The two plots face each other on the ‘cold hill.’
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge Les Côtes: Pinot noir on granitic rock.
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Les Paizets: Pinot noir on limestone, on the same ‘cold hill’ as the red and white climat Les Côtes.
Bourgogne Rouge En Gerlieus: 0.9 ha in Chassey-le-Camp, beside the aligoté. Vines 50-70 years old.
Maranges le Bas du Clos: 90-year-old vines behind the house, where we assembled to discuss at the end of the tasting.
Maranges Les Plantes: 110-year-old vines beside the ‘yellow car.’
Now to the notes!
The Bourgogne Aligoté Mitancherie 2021 is from a cool plot with 30-year-old vines at the foot of the Maranges hill. This is a lively, crystal clear aligoté, with only 11.8% alcohol telling the story of a cooler year. It’s detailed and vivid, with more acidity and mineral drive than the 2020. Still, there’s an adorable vin de soif feeling. I do love the 2021s.
(Drink from 2023) – Good+ – (87p) – Tasted 26/07/2022 –
The Bourgogne Aligoté En Gerlieus 2021 comes, as mentioned above, from 40- to 100-year-old vines. This is an even more mineral-intense wine than the Mitancherie. There’s quite a difference between the barrel and the amphorae versions, with the blended wine offering the best of both worlds. The amphora treatment does add an effortlessness to the wine, a limitlessness that makes the feeling of enclosure disappear. The barrel-fermented part adds edge and detail. With a tremendously mineral feel, this is better and more precise than the 2020. Blended, these work magic, as the amphorae really give the wine greatness. It has an elegant, clear aligoté signature, and is of my favourite aligotés, alongside Nicholas Faure’s Bully and two from Chantereves.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good+ – (91-92p) – Tasted 26/07/2022 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc Les Côtes 2021 is from relatively young vines, yet is quite intense for the vintage. It is elegant, vivid, and very well made, but struggles compared with the two aligotés. It will certainly improve as the vines age. The 2021 has lovely purity.
(Drink from 2022) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 12/06/2021 –
The Maranges Le Saugeot 2021 is slightly reduced, and has less than 11% alcohol. It is not a big or complex wine, but is has loads of hedonistic joy and drinking pleasure. The floral minerality reminds me a bit of the red Blagnys from Benjamin Leroux and Matrot. A vin de soif.
(Drink from 2022) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 26/07/2022 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge Les Côtes 2021 is a wine with a strong mineral expression, as the granitic soil really shows its intensity and stony character. It’s deeper and more intense, yet still quite delicate and airy.
(Drink from 2022) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 26/07/2022 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Les Paizets 2021 has a lovely, hedonistic feeling. It shows wild raspberries, juicy and lively. It’s not particularly detailed or precise, but does have the hedonistic feel we can find in Clos du Chateau. An open and vivid wine; what more could we want?
(Drink from 2022) – Good+ – (87-88p) – Tasted 26/07/2022 –
The Chassey-le-Champ area is, in my ignorance, unknown to me, yet it has produced two delightful wines in 2021. The Domaine de Cassiopée Bourgogne Rouge En Gerlieus vineyard is right beside the aligoté, with vines between 50 and 70 years old. The ’21 used only 20% whole clusters, yet this shapes up the wine quite a bit. It will need a fair amount of time to unfold and fully reveal its cool fruit and stony terroir.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 26/07/2022 –
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