Photo of Maranges courtesy of Domaine des Rouges Queues

Organic Outer-Borough Burgundy

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I will readily admit to an abiding love for Burgundy. The appellations roll off the tongue: Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée, Volnay, Pommard… I’ll also confess to having great affection for less name-brand Burgundies. While not exactly household names, the less famous villages of the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise furnish some immensely satisfying and affordable knife-and-fork wines. The interplay between fruit and earth and the cool-toned, sweet but savory character of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay enhance food rather than dominate it. Lively acid and energetic minerality invigorate the palate. As new releases from 2012 arrive, we are delighted by the vintage’s charm and structured character. Below are recent additions to our Burgundy section from two exciting organic domains.

Founded in 1997 by former wine vendors Isabelle and Alain Hasard in the Côtes du Couchois, Domaine Champs de l’Abbaye initially gained notoriety for producing over-performing wines from that admittedly obscure appellation. They have subsequently moved from the Côtes du Couchois to the better known Côte Chalonnaise, where they farm 6 hectares. As of 2010 they also produce a Monthélie in the Côte d’Or. By keeping yields low and farming conscientiously, the Hasards fashion Burgundies which consistently punch above their weight. All the vineyards are farmed organically with some biodynamic methods. The grapes are hand-harvested, 100% destemmed, and pressed in a vertical press. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts without additives, there is pumping over of the cap with a minimum of punching down to avoid over-extraction. Finesse is a priority over power. Aging is in 25% new oak; the wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined, with a minimum addition of sulfur. The wines are stylish without being overworked. There is a beautiful ripe fruit balanced by good acidity and supple tannins.

At the southernmost end of the Côte d'Or is the relatively new (1989) appellation of Maranges, composed of the villages Cheilly, Dezize, and Sampigny. Formerly considered a source of structured blending wine for punching up Côtes-du-Beaune Villages wines, Maranges now produces some affordable Burgundy of great character. Located in the town of Sampigny-lès-Maranges, Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey’s Domaine des Rouges Queues produces lovely wines which start with old vines and great farming. The Vanteys have worked the vines without chemicals since 1998 and made the transition to biodynamics from 2008. The vines date from 1960 and 1973 in the premier cru La Fussière and average 60 years old in the village Maranges. Their cellar work is non-interventionist; the fermentation is spontaneous in stainless and open-top wooden fermenters. The aging is in neutral oak and sulfur is used sparingly. The wines display succulent fruit, great freshness, and have detailed minerality. These are sturdy, honest, satisfying wines which should age nicely.   –John McIlwain

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Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé

Lovely pale pink color, fresh, subtle aromas of crushed raspberry and blood orange, firm mousse with tart red fruits and citrus with refreshing acidity — a light and simply delicious sparkling rosé that's a fabulous value!

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $17.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Bourgogne Blanc

Organically-farmed, hand-harvested Chardonnay from Alain and Isabelle Hasard. Fermented with native yeast with no SO2 added until bottling. Great value-priced Bougogne Blanc. There's a cool mineral inflected nose that evolves into white flowers and yellow fruits. Lithe and fresh, this is sensational as an apéritif or with lighter fare. -John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Mercurey La Brigadière

2012 is Alain and Isabel Hasard’s seventh vintage from this biodynamically farmed half-hectare plot. The soil is a blend of Oxfordian marls and debris.

Deep ruby robe. Quite fresh-dark cherry and earthy nose framed by some new oak. Dense wild cherry and hedge fruits on palate followed by savory mineral notes and snappy acidity. There is plenty of structure here peeking from behind the exuberant fruit. With air more a more earthy profile emerges while the oak recedes. The finish is persistent and lively. Serve cool with a brief decant now or cellar for three to five years to allow fruit and structure to harmonize. – John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Mercurey Les Marcoeurs

From .75 hectares in the lieu-dit Les Marceours adjacent to Clos Myglands on the eastern edge of the village. The vines range from 15-40 years old and are grown in mixed limestone debris and ferruginous soils.

Stylish Mercurey, with an array of wild strawberry, cherry liqueur, and red plum aromas upon the nose. Medium-bodied, with ripe concentrated red fruits and dark earth tones in the mouth; there is oak present, but it integrates nicely into the long, succulent, stony finish. Lovely now, should improve over the next five to eight years. - John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Champs de l'Abbaye 2012 Monthélie Les Sous Roches

From Les Sous Roches lieu-dit on the northwest slope in Monthétlie. Converted to biodynamic farming in 2009.

Features a densely spicy and earthy nose redolent of black fruit, sandalwood, and game. There is a similar density of flavors: ripe plum, black raspberry, baking spices, and forest floor. This is framed by ripe tannins, a hint of new oak, and fresh acidity on the long supple finish. This would pair beautifully with veal stew or braised duck legs. -John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Biodynamic

Rouges-Queues 2012 Maranges Rouge

From biodynamically farmed vines averaging sixty years old. Hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts, and aged in neutral oak, this is honest Burgundy.

Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey's 2012 Maranges Rouge has a ripe fruity nose with underbrush notes adding aromatic complexity. Red and black cherry, crushed herbs, earth dominate on the palate. There is enough extract to cushion the structure here. There is none of the rusticity often attributed to Maranges. We'd enjoy this with roasted pork or duck confit.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

Rouges-Queues 2012 Maranges Rouge 1er Cru Fussière

At the southernmost end of the Côte d'Or is the newish (1989) appellation of Maranges, composed of the villages Cheilly, Dezize, and Sampigny. Formerly added to Côte de Beaune-Villages to add structure, Maranges produces affordable reds of character with fairly firm tannins, bright acidity, and good staying power. La Fussière is the largest of the premier crus with plenty of Jurassic limestone making up its soils.

Medium-dark ruby robe. Pretty floral aromatics, with red fruits and a hint of spice. There's a good density of cherry-raspberry fruit balanced by detailed tannins and buoyed by lively acidity on a long finish. There is charm and class here!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99