Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Discovering #BourgogneUnknown with Bourgogne Wines

"I normally shy away from white wines, but that one (Jean Chartron Rully Montmorin 2015) was delicious", Anonymous Neighbor 1

"This wine (Domaine Dominique Gruhier Bourgogne Epineuil 2015) is so good....we loved it", text from Anonymous Neighbor 2

I generally disperse wines I receive as samples amongst my neighbors once the official tasting session has concluded and a recent #BourgogneUnknown registered immediate and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the beneficiaries. That is Bourgogne and not Burgundy as Bourgogne Wines seeks to "re-affirm its identity as one of the most iconic ‘brands’ of France, the region and its producers are reverting back to the original French iteration of its name – Bourgogne".

This iconic region spans 230 km of territory from North to South and encompasses 84 distinct appellations. Of these, there are seven regional appellations, 44 village appellations, and 33 Grand Cru Climats. Some of these appellations, such as Chablis and Côte de Nuits are well-known so this tasting targeted smaller village regions such as Marsannay, Bourgogne Epineuil, Chorey-les-Beaune, Pouilly-Vinzelles, and Rully. And as all of Bourgogne, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the main players, yet variations in character occur across the different appellations. The wines discussed below were not only delicious but affordable ranging in price from $25-$30.


Around 250 million years ago, an emerald lagoon covered what is now the Bourgogne winegrowing region. As a result, the subsoil contains marine marl and limestone deposits. The roots of the vines go deep into this unique geological legacy, drawing from it the finesse, depth and minerality that are so characteristic of Bourgogne appellations.

 • Pinot Noir flourishes on marl soils that are more yielding and porous, that tend towards limestone and which offer good drainage. It will produce light and sophisticated or powerful and full-bodied wines, depending on the proportion of limestone, stone content and clay on the plot where it grows.

 • Chardonnay prefers more clayey marly limestone soils from which it can develop sophisticated, elegant aromas in the future wine. The clay helps produce breadth in the mouth, characteristic of the Bourgogne region’s great white wines.

Source:  Bourgogne Wines

Domaine Dominique Gruhier Bourgogne Epineuil 2015
The village of Epineuil is located in the larger Auxerrois regions, northeast of Chablis and sharing the same Kimmeridgian soils. Bourgogne Epineuil is a regional AOC that was created in 1993 and only recognizes 100% Pinot Noir. On the other hand, its neighbor Bourgogne Tonnerre features only 100% Chardonnay. This wine is very pleasant 100% organic Pinot Noir wine with juicy and chewy fruit, dusty and mild middle, and finishing with fresh acids.

Catherine et Claude Maréchal Chorey-les-Beaune 2014
The village of Chorey-les-Beaune is located just to the north of the town of Beaune and produces both red and white wines. This red wine is 100% Pinot Noir - not flashy - but steady integrated fruit and soft lingering tannins.

Maison Louis Latour Pouilly-Vinzelles "En Paradis" 2015
Pouilly-Vinzelles is a small appellation in the Mâconnais region where their white wines are full expressions of Chardonnay. Its famous neighbor, Pouilly-Fuissé, is actially around 20 times smaller in acreage! The name Vinzelles takes its name from the latin vincella which means small vine and these vines are planted in predominantly limestone soils. This wine is fantastic; completely integrated with creamy white stone fruit and citrus, minerals, and refreshing acidity.

Jean Chartron Rully Montmorin 2015
The Rully appellation is optimally situated in the northern part of the Côte Chalonnaise where light and sandy soils create fresh Chardonnay. this wine is 100% barrel fermented and maturing on its lees for 8 months in barrel and 4 months in tank. This helps produce a fuller slightly buttery body but with juicy white fruit and finishing with plenty of lift. Easy to see why my neighbor enjoyed the switch from red wines.

Domaine Bart Marsannay Chardonnay Musque Les Favieres 2015
Domaine Bart is run by Martin Bart, who has prime land in Marsannay, the northern most wine village in the Côte de Nuits in Bourgogne. This AOC was created in 1987 and is the most recent addition to the Côte de Nuits. This is a beautiful wine, my favorite of the group as it possesses more creamy stone fruit, a full mouthfeel, a touch of saline, and a long acid boost.
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