It seems as if this rain is almost eternal now. Cold and miserable is the new norm. But then a hero emerges from the darkness... our new Maranges from Jean Claude Boisset!
Jean-Claude Boisset was radically transformed with the arrival in 2002 of viniculteur Grégory Patriat, one of the best viticulturalists/winemakers of his generation in Burgundy. Grégory had spent the previous three years working in the vineyards at Domaine Leroy and still spends a great deal of his time in the vineyards, paying his growers by the hectare in order to ensure low yields. He also prefers to work with organic growers, as he finds they produce better fruit. Unlike other Burgundian négociants, Grégory specialises in making wines from 'lieu-dits' or tiny plots of vines, something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines.
Maranges is the southernmost wine appellation in the Côte de Beaune. The fruit is actually declassified from 'La Fussière', the best Premier Cru in Maranges. The vineyards here face south/south-east, benefitting from great sun exposure, and the soils are mostly limestone. Jean-Claude Boisset's Maranges is made with limited yields due to severe de-budding and, if necessary, green harvesting. The soil is worked without fertilizers and environmentally friendly pest management is employed to respect the beneficial local wildlife.
Overall, 2013 was a classic vintage, very 'Burgundian' in the sense that they harvested late, with 75% of the grapes picked in October. Except for an incidence of hail which affected the Côte de Beaune, there was no variation in quality between the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. Production was small due to climatic influences including coulure and millerandage, but also hail. Virtually no areas were spared in this respect. The reds are fleshy, succulent and more concentrated than for example the 2011s, which bodes well for the cellaring of this vintage.
Jean-Claude Boisset Maranages 2013 @ £20.95 - Buy it here!
On the nose the wine is fresh and floral, with notes of violets. The nose is complemented by a clean and structured palate, with refreshing acidity and fine tannins.
Open and available to taste so as always you'll struggle to go wrong. Cheers!