If you love European wine you will eventually fall in love with, if not obsess over, Burgundy. I avoid making sweeping generalizations but this one is true. The area makes some of the worldest greatest red and white wine and the modern concept terrior orriginates here, enough said. I am by no means an expert on Burgundy. Everytime I feel that I know something about this region, I learn something new and I am reminded of how little I know. Humbling.. yes, discouraging..never.
It was my pleasure to be humbled yet again this week. I tasted a number of wines from the Fine Vines portfolio. One was from a Burgundy producer that I’ve always appreciated, Bachey-Legros. They are a family owned estate in Santenay, the southern most town in the Cote de Beaune. Generally for Burgundy the excitement of red wine is in the North and whites in the South. In Santenay the excitement turns back to the reds where you find a handful of Premier Crus for the reds. I’ve always enjoyed the reds from this area. I find them to be of good value and more consistent, relative to Reds of the Beaune (Pommard, Volnay, etc).
I opened the bottle of Bachey-Legros labeled ‘Maranges.’ Maybe I should be embarassed to say, but this area just didn’t register with me. Where is the Maranges? The name sounded familiar but I just couldn’t place it. I opened one Burgundy map and it was nowhere to be found. After some research I found that it borders Santenay just to the south. I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on Burgundy and here is this little AOC that I couldn’t even place. Humbling… yes.
The wine was terrific. A value by Burgundy standards at $20 a bottle. The wine had great balance and good sense of tension, which to me is what makes old world wines and Burdgundy exciting. The wine had notes of black pepper in aroma, something I find throughout Santenay reds, and that good Burgundy ‘funk’. I highly recomend this wine and other wines from this producer. I will be be hunting down more wines from the Maranges so stay tuned.