SOLD OUT! Value and Red Burgundy are rarely used in the same sentence. It’s nearly impossible to find good Pinot Noir from Burgundy for less than $25 these days, but somehow, I’ve done it.
Like most of the wines and producers we champion at the store, the Maurice Charleux Bourgogne Rouge is from a small family-owned domaine. If you know me, you know I love Pinot Noir in all of its forms, but I definitely have a soft spot for Burgundy, the genetic birthplace of the grape. This is a splendid version from a under-the-radar producer.
2012 Domaine Maurice Charleux Bourgogne Rouge
Stellar Red Burgundy Value!
Father and son Maurice and Vincent Charleux farm roughly 10 hectares of vineyards in the appellations of Maranges and Santenay in the southern Cotes de Beaune. In most vintages, they make 7 or 8 different wines (reds mainly, but some whites) totaling just over 3,000 cases. The Charleux family farms in lutte raisonée, aka sustainably, using little or no synthetic chemicals in their vineyards. Their yields are far below those required by law and all of their grapes are harvested by hand. This traditional, old school way of farming requires lots of human labor, but Maurice and Vincent do it willingly. The result is happy, healthy, and flavorful grapes, and we all know that you have to harvest good grapes to make good wine.
The estate’s Bourgone Rouge is their entry level wine, but it does not perform like an entry level wine. From a tiny, 50 year old, clay composed plot of Pinot Noir just south of the winery and the Maranges AOC, the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts in cement and then is moved to older barrels for aging. The family doesn’t like to use a lot of oak, preferring to let the terroir of each cru surface, rather than be hidden by an “international” style that masks the beauty of each place.
What does all of that mean? It means that this is a very French styled wine and true representation of Burgundian Pinot Noir. It pours a lovely translucent ruby color and smells of fresh cherry, wild strawberry and cranberry with little bits of earth and spice sneaking in. On the palate, it is lively and energetic, with tangy plum and cherry sharing the stage with finishing notes of earth and spice.
I find it quite pleasant to drink by itself, but the acidic structure of the wine makes me yearn for roasted poultry and root vegetables or a simple platter of baguette and assorted cheeses and charcuterie. I know many of you don’t think about food and wine together, but do yourself a favor and try this wine with food. You won’t regret it!
I’ve been writing a lot about wines that would be great with Thanksgiving dinner, and here’s another one. Even better, if you have a cellar, I could see this evolving and softening over the next 3 to 5 years.
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville