A MEETING WITH A WINEMAKER FROM THE BOURGOGNE REGION
HIDDEN GEMS DISCOVERED FROM THE MERCUREY APPELLATION
Beverly Hills(Spiritsman) 6/30/16/–I recently had the opportunity to meet up with another high profile French winemaker in Beverly Hills at the excellent Ocean Prime Restaurant, that man being Amaury Devillard representing the wines of Bourgogne. To be more specific the region is actually called either Cote Challonaise or Mercurey and is known for five different appellations. These wines are not very well known but offer excellent value if you can find them.
Amaury is a native Burgundian, and comes from a family on his mother’s side that has owned vineyards in Mercurey since the 12th Century. Gaining a Master in Wine degree in Paris, he spent six months in South Africa and three years in Barcelona, learning about fish and seafood.
After a stint in New York representing interests of Bourgogne, he moved permanently back to France where along with his sister he formed the Societe Amaura et Aurore Devillard,taking over the distribution of the family’s domaines. They now distribute for other producer in the region and in all encompass 173 acres of vines and 450,000 bottles sold around the world. He practices a farming philosophy called ‘Luttes Raisonnees, a method of farming that leaves the vines well alone until it is absolutely necessary.’
Many wine writers in the past have considered the wines of Bourgogne too basic to write anything serious or positive about, but there are some hidden gems in the region all fueled by the flavor and aroma of Pure Pinot noir. Two of those particular wines that I tried at the dinner were both very dynamic. They were the 2013 N.Cotes de Nuit Pinot from the Marsannay region and the 2012 Rully. The Cotes de Nuit AOC can be sold either as a half red/rose wine but these are Hard ones to find since that particular style has become quite outmoded.
Of course the Chardonnay grape dominates the region with the majority of the wines being produced white. Of those tried at the tasting, standouts were the dry white Aligote from the Bouzeron appellation, the Saint-Veran 2013 Chardonnay, the Auxey Duresses Chardonnay and the Chateau de Chamilly 2012 Chardonnay from the Mercurey appellation.
The Aligote wine really dates back to 1979 when Bouzeron became the only Cru to have its appellation specifically for the Aligote grape and it is now known as Bouzeron AOC despite using 100% of the Aligote grape. This is a dry wine that is perfect in weight, fruit and spice content.
The Mercurey Appellation account for two thirds of the entire production of the Cote Chaonnaise. The red wines from the region are Pinot noir, Pinot gris and Pinot liebault and the whites are 100% Chardonnay. These particular wines, including the one I tried are exceptional quality for the price and are not only light and fresh, but also have a touch of fat and butter which gives them the perfect balance.
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