France: Burgundy

Côte Chalonnaise

The wines of Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny
By Jean-Pierre Renard and Wink Lorch

This Guide was last updated on 10 August 2010
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Main wine styles

Reds

Generally the reds here are lighter than those to the north, medium-bodied with gentle silky texture. The better Village wines and most Premier Cru reds receive some oak maturation in Burgundy fûts (228l as opposed to 225l in Bordeaux) for 6-15 months, with age of barrels varying considerably according to producer. They are generally for drinking in 2–8 years.

Whites

Whites are more important in the Côte Chalonnaise than red and can offer a good alternative to the more famous wines of the Côte de Beaune though with less of their finesse. They range from the bright acidity, full fruit of the Aligoté from Bouzeron to the richer, fuller styles of the Premier Cru Chardonnay wines from Montagny and Rully for example. These latter can be barrel-fermented and matured in oak adding to the wine’s complexity.

Rosés

There is very little rosé and it is made by the saigné method – drawing off some of the juice of fermenting red wine which, in turn, helps concentrate the red’s colour. The rosés are normally dry and light.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wine is important in the Côte Chalonnaise, in particularly in the southern part around Buxy. The white Crémants de Bourgogne vary from dry and light to occasionally full and rich in flavour. They are made predominantly from Chardonnay base wines, but Pinot Noir may be used too. Pinot Noir is used for rosé sparkling wines. They can offer value for money and are worth seeking out.

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