It is a region where one can find good value Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs that have light, elegant perfume and flavours. We work with three domaines here that craft splendid white and red wines from appellations such as Maranges, Mercurey and Rully.
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Some of the most attractive white burgundies come from the southern end of the region. A touch more sun and warmth works wonders here – the wines tend to have a little more body, richness and power. In turn, they can cope with a little more oak. So if you enjoy slightly richer, spicier Chardonnay, then Pouilly-Fuissé is the right wine for you.
Here our winemaker, Thierry Drouin, owns nine hectares of beautifully situated vineyards at the slopes of the magnificent rocks of Solutré and Vergisson. He produces superb, age-worthy white burgundies that offer really juicy, supple flavours. He is a skilful vigneron with many vintages under his belt.
Our exclusive En Châtenay has lovely aromas of citrus and lemon balm, toasted nuts and spicy oak. In the mouth it has delicious freshness as well as a tender, juicy texture. There is a mix of exotic fruits; apple, melon and nectarine with a fresh core of minerality, typical of the appellation. The spicy oak and butter notes come through in the finish, which is long and lingering.
This wine can be enjoyed young, but will develop further minerality over three to four years after vintage.
The south-facing vineyards of the appellation of Givry surround the small town from which it takes its name. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes deliver impressive depth and flavour on the mix of sand, limestone and clay soils. However, red wine predominates, and the fact that Domaine Ragot offers both red and white is something of a rarity.
Our talented young winemaker, Nicolas Ragot, has carved and excellent reputation in the Givry appellation. He is a qualified oenologist with international experience and is the fifth generation Ragot to work at the domaine.
Our Givry Premier Cru La Grande Berge is a deepish ruby/purple colour with a well- defined, enticing aroma of dark bramble fruit, exotic oak and underbrush. In the mouth it is at once mouth-filling with soft, supple, juicy textures with a core of dark cherry and raspberry fruit with a delicate earthy touch in the finish. It is creamy and silky with some mocha notes from the ageing in part new barrels. It has concentration and power, certainly, but also plenty of elegance and subtle minerality.
It can be enjoyed young, but will develop complexity over 5-8 years.
Our Givry blanc Champ Pourot is a delicious, modern white burgundy with crisp lemony acidity and well-defined flavours of honey, lemon and lime fruit supported by well judged, spicy oak. It is a versatile food wine – try it with delicate river fish, creamy chicken or pork dishes. Strong local cheeses like Époisses go well too. Ideally, drink within three years of vintage.
The wines of Domaine Pillot continue to go from strength to strength. Although Mercurey, the best known and largest of the villages in the Côte Chalonnaise, is known for its robust Pinot Noirs, the wines from this modest and unassuming duo are fabulously elegant. They make graceful Pinots with fragrance and a wonderful silky, suppleness; a hallmark of this great grape.
Their wines have the ability to age a decade or more and take on added layers and dimensions. In short, they are superb examples of Pinot Noir that don’t cost the earth like many of those in the Côte d’Or further north.
This Mercurey rouge displays the pretty side of Pinot Noir. The nose is subtle with black cherry and delicate oaky notes. The palate has freshness and structure yet is soft, juicy and creamy with ripe black and red fruits and a lick of exotic spice. It can be enjoyed now but has the ability to continue to develop some complexity over the next five to seven years.
Normally Mercurey can be quite a robust and ‘masculine’ style of Pinot Noir. However, Pillot’s capture the fragrant and elegant side of this beguiling grape variety. Our exclusive Clos des Montaigus Premier Cru has had gentle, minimum handling prior to spending almost 18 months in oak casks (30% new) and more than nine months in bottle. It exhibits a lightish ruby red colour and a deep, mineral, plum and cherry nose. On the palate it is fresh, clean and savoury with juicy dark fruits and a noticeable tannic grip. It ages extremely well.
Our Mercurey rouge Premier Cru En Sazenay has a lightish ruby colour and a rather exotic, aromatic nose of sweet spice, undergrowth and berry fruit. The palate is succulent and lush with a mix of raspberry and dark cherry fruit, cream and pepper spice. The tannins are sweet, ripe and well integrated and the finish is long with lovely spicy notes. As with all Pillot wines, your En Sazenay will mature wonderfully over the coming decade and should take on layers of earthy, gamey complexity.
This is one of our most popular domaines. Based in the southernmost village of the Côte d’Or, the making of wine at this estate is an entirely family affair. The Chevrots cultivate a total of 20 hectares of vineyards in a number of appellations. They are dedicated to organic viticulture and respect for their soil, which is a classic mix of clay and chalk over limestone.
Parents Fernand and Cathy continue to help out at the domaine where the two brothers, Pablo and Vincent do much to elevate the reputation of Maranges to new heights. They have a fun, energetic and youthful spirit and are committed to preserving the environment and the soils that surround them.
Maranges Le Bois de Clémentine 2011
Maranges Le Bois de Clémentine 2008
Hautes Côtes de Beaune blanc 2010
Our exclusive Maranges rouge Le Bois de Clémentine comes from a plot of vines situated beside a wood (Le Bois). The vines were purchased by Fernand Chevrot some years ago from a neighbour called Clémentine. Matured for around 14 months in oak barrels, 40% of which were new, it is medium deep ruby in colour with fresh, fragrant aromas and flavours of raspberry and cherry intertwined with exotic oak, star anise and clove. It has an appealing supple, juicy texture and will age well.
Our exclusive Hautes Côtes de Beaune blanc comes from a small, limestone-rich plot close to the Chevrot’s house. It’s a classic, lightly oaked Chardonnay, matured part in oak barrels and part in stainless steel cuves. It is fragrant, chalky and mineral with a gentle whiff of spicy oak. The flavours are crisp and vivacious with lovely citrus fruits, melon and greengage. The spicy oak is nicely integrated in the finish. It is perfect for drinking over the next three years with a wide selection of white meats, fleshy fish and smoked salmon.
The hotels, chambres d’hôtes and gîtes we recommend in the Côte Chalonnaise are all personally known to us and are where we stay when we visit our winemakers. They have been selected because they are convenient for the vineyards, offer a warm welcome and provide good value for money within their category.