“Oronce de Beler is, regardless of how you look at it, a true Burgundy personality.”
That was my lead sentence when I wrote the article about him last year. This is even more at the top of mind this year as he continues to expand his beer project.
Lately, I have even been drinking his excellent ciders. He is truly a man of many talents.
Orance produces beer, cider, eggs, pork, and wine, based at his new (old) estate in the centre of Nuits-Saint-Georges. I have most likely forgotten other products and concepts, and while it could be confusing, he has a strong ethos of quality that links his products.
Some of them are organic, others not, but all have an organic feeling – a hippie glow if you like. Good vibes, a feeling in which you want to join.
What are the Maison Romane wines?
These are what I would call hippie, slightly rebellious wines, with an intellectual glow that says we care, but don’t always show it! They are not very precise, being low-sulphur and 100% whole-cluster – let the free spirit rule!
It’s hard to make comparisons, and most likely I will end up offending someone. But after all, it’s just wine, so here we go!
De Beler’s wines are stylistically from the same school as Cossard and Pacalet back when they were introduced 20 years ago. Yet they are less controlled, and sometimes quite a bit more on the wild side. Minor errors and imperfections are apparently acceptable, and not infrequently the volatile acidity is on the high side; fine, if you don’t mind it!
The 2022 reds
The crop size in 2022 was good, and this has benefitted Oronce, who is back to more normal production levels. And 2022 is a good vintage, with lively, concentrated wines.
The quality here is good, and the wines have a lovely freshness despite the year’s hot weather. It is a vintage for enjoyment, but also a bit of contrast, as the vinification was problematic at certain domaines.
A note: There’s a tendency to high VA in the 2022 wines, and Maison Romane has that tendency regardless of vintage. If you can live with high VA, then I expect you’ll enjoy the 2022s. There are some indications of excess VA in the 2022s here, but really nothing worse than in other vintages. Maison Romane has made this type of wine for years, and I have never tasted a problematic red wine from Oronce. The whites in recent vintages seem sound as well.
Here we go!
The first red is the Savigny-les-Beaune 2022. This is quite generous – as the ’22s are – and it has a richness without being heavily concentrated. This shows enjoyable, mouth-filling fruit that has a lot of hedonistic intensity and joy. The nose is brimming with cherries and cherry stones. There is a slight hint of VA on the nose that blows off; it’s there, but not disturbing to me. But then again I am relatively open-minded.
(Drink from 2024) – Good+ (87p) – Tasted 13/07/2023
A step up terroir-wise, the Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Clous 2022 is also a step up in intensity. It has a sweet, ripe note, and is higher in VA. This is openly knit, lively, and elegantly vivid with lovely juiciness. Maison Romane is generally on the open and enjoyable side.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good – (89p) – Tasted 13/07/2023
Next up, the Pommard 2022 is beautifully floral, with an intensely fruity nose – vivid and delicate fruit. It has a radiant lusciousness and is just showing off at the moment. What a lovely vin de soif.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (87-88p) – Tasted 13/07/2023 –
The Marsannay Longeroies 2022 comes from one of my favourite Marsannay terroirs. This is on the rich, generous side and is an energetically intense, but still light-footed, Marsannay. It shows beautiful energy with pungent raspberry fruit. I wish more Marsannays had this vividness and liveliness (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink; know what I mean? Say no more; know what I mean?). I don’t think Monty Python was referring to VA in its original, but here, I am.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (89p) – Tasted 13/07/2023 –
Orance’s Fixin Les Clos 2022 is from the northern side of the village, and guess what – nudge, nudge. There’s a slightly smoky note along with ripe, fine, fruitiness. This is delicate and juicy for a Fixin, with loads of energy. It’s a vin de soif, but one on the wilder side with an openly knit stance.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 13/07/2023 –
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