Nothing is more pleasing than following new estates and seeing the success of hard-working vignerons. When they have chosen the high road and located their estate – in this case Domaine de Cassiopée – in Maranges (more precisely, Sampigny-les-Maranges), then my admiration is even greater.
A lot of collectors can’t see past Vosne-Romanee and the grands crus, and while I understand their fascination with the best, there are so many lovely wines in other, less-vaunted parts of Burgundy. So let’s go to Maranges, just south of Santenay, another exciting village with some innovative vignerons.
Time does fly. Another year has passed, and I’m again in Maranges to taste the third vintage 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 are definitely 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. The amphorae share of the 2022 vintage is lower due to the large harvest and limited amphorae space.
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 for discussion at the end of the tasting.
Maranges Les Plantes: 110-year-old vines beside the ‘yellow car.’
Now to the notes!
The 2022s come from a year of abundance, with a seriously big harvest – a contrast to 2021 in many ways. However, elevage has shown that the focus and freshness of the ’22s are lovely.
The whites have found their acidity and complexity after starting out with very generous fruit. The reds are getting more and more focused, and the vintage was almost ideal for the Maranges area, as these wines can carry all the generous, fresh fruit they can get.
The Bourgogne Aligoté Mitancherie 2021 is from a cool plot with 30-year-old vines at the foot of the Maranges hill. The 2022 is definitely richer and more generous than the more mineral ’21. Still, there is a clear expression of the terroir, and the alcohol has been kept down, at 11.8%. It is nonetheless a vin de soif, if on the richer side. I sort of prefer the 2021 – if I could get any.
(Drink from 2023) – Good+ – (87p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Bourgogne Aligoté En Gerlieus 2022 comes, as mentioned above, from 40- to 100-year-old vines. This is a much more mineral-intense wine than the Mitancherie. The amphorae part is smaller in 2022 as the harvest was a lot bigger, hence not really space enough in the jars. Amphora elevage normally adds an effortlessness to the wine, a limitlessness that makes the feeling of the elevage container disappear. The barrel-fermented part adds edge and detail. The tremendous mineral feel of this terroir is perfect for the lush 2022. More generous, this ’22 still shows vivid minerality. This is one of my favourite aligotés, alongside Nicholas Faure’s Bully and two favourites from Chantereves.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good+ – (91-92p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc Les Côtes 2022 is from relatively young vines on the clay/limestone part of the vineyard. This has lovely, innocent, exotic fruit that is sweetly expressive. From six-year-old vines and with 12.5% alcohol, it’s a vin de soif, nothing more and certainly nothing less. It struggles a bit compared with the two aligotés and the granite version of this wine.
(Drink from 2023) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc Les Côtes 2022 is from the granite part of Les Côtes. Despite quite a bit of reduction, there is a magnificent feel of granite soil, deep, delicated and very interesting. I’m normally not a huge fan of granitic terroirs, but this is different.
(Drink from 2023) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Maranges Blanc 2022 has delicate fruit and is rather classically styled. From the terroir Les Plantes (which is known for old vines in the red division), this is refined, with lovely balance. Semi-rich, yet still with delightful freshness.
(Drink from 2023) – Very Good – (89p) -Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Les Paizets 2022 has a clear hedonistic feeling. It had just been sulphured (at 1,5 mg/l), but still has lively energy from the small berries, with good freshness. It’s delicate and lively, and less extracted in 2022. The inclusion of 45% whole clusters helped in creating this beauty.
(Drink from 2024) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge Les Côtes 2022 is a wine with a strong mineral expression, as the granitic soil really shows its intensity and stony character. It has delicate minerality, and is airy with interesting depth. I like the smoky granite flavours in this fully destemmed cuvee.
(Drink from 2024) – Very Good – (87p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Maranges Le Saugeot 2022 comes from a cool area; the vineyard is shaped a bit like the old Greek theatres. This is fragile, with a fine tannic structure that is slightly austere, if a bit prominent. The floral minerality reminds me of red Blagny.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (87p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Maranges le Bas du Clos 2022 (from 90-year-old vines) comes from just behind Talloulah and Hugo’s beautiful home. Destemmed and delicate, this is elegant, although with a bit of sulphur on the back palate (it was just was sulphured). The deep fruit includes seductive raspberry – delicate and fine. Old vines provide the depth, and even in 2022, we get a delicately filigreed presentation of pinot.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (89p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
The Bourgogne Rouge En Gerlieus vineyard is right beside the fabulous aligoté, with vines between 50 and 70 years old. In the ’22, they used only 15% whole clusters, yet this produces a slightly more structured wine. It will need a fair amount of time to fully reveal its intense, cool fruit and stony terroir. There is some reduction; note: Some of the previous wines have required a thorough decanting to shed the reduction. Cassiopée is working to eliminate this issue when the wines are still young – decanting does usually take care of it.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 31/07/2023 –
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