Thursday, October 1, 2015
In the Glass: 2013 Maison Roche de Bellene, Coteaux Bourguignons Cuvée Terroir – Or: Is Beaujolais Part of the Bourgogne or not?
Recently, on the Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), a question that came up several times, was: Is the Beaujolais part of the Bourgogne or not? We got several different answers. Most maps we saw of the Bourgogne Region, did not include the Beaujolais. The participants left the region confused.
Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
A few days ago, I had a nice wine from Maison Roche de Bellene in the glass, which might contribute to the discussion by way of affirming Beaujolais’ place in the Bourgogne. The wine was a Coteaux Bourguignons (Hills of Burgundy), a new Burgundy appellation.
The Coteaux Bourguignons appellation covers wines made throughout the greater Bourgogne Region, from the Auxerrois and the Chablis Regions in the north down to and including the Beaujolais Region. The appellation was created in 2011 and replaced the Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire and Bourgogne Ordinaire appelations.
The Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire and the Bourgogne Ordinaire appallations were regional generic appellation for various red, white and rosé wines produced across Burgundy, including Beaujolais. As the name suggested, the wines produced under this appellation were ordinary, i.e entry-level wines. The “Grand” referred the size of the area in which the wine could be produced, i.e. from the Auxerrois and the Chablis Regions in the north down to and including the Beaujolais Region.
Various grapes can be used in the wines made under the Coteaux Bourguignons appellation. Red wines are composed primarily from Gamay and Pinot Noir, although in the northerly Yonne the less widespread César is also permitted. Whites can be made from Chardonnay, Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne, and once again Yonne claims the exclusive right to use the Sacy variety in their wines. Rosé or ‘Clairet’ wines are made from a combination of these grape varieties.
2013 Maison Roche de Bellene Coteaux Bourguignons Cuvée Terroir
Maison Roche de Bellene's Cuvée Terroir is mostly from the Austral, southern area, where fruit-forward, mineral inflected Gamay is grown on old vines in granite soils. It is blended with finely structured Pinot Noir from the clay and limestone soils of the Cote d'Or. The result is what the French would call a "Vin de Plaisir" - an easy-drinking, affordable wine for everyday drinking.
The Pinot Noir portion of this wine is made with a brief cold maceration to start, followed by native-yeast fermentation in open vats. The Gamay is done in the traditional manner of the south, with a semi-carbonic maceration and whole-cluster fermentation. The wines are matured in large, old oak barrels for 4-5 months. After racking and a light filtration, the wines rest a few weeks before bottling.
Maison Roche de Bellene practices traditional, respectful winemaking. Nicolas Potel and his winemaker, Sylvain Debord, work closely with growers to make decisions about vineyard practices, crop reduction harvest dates, and the fermentation regimen. Their winemaking employs “careful guidance of the human hand.”
2013 is the inaugural vintage of this wine. The exact cuvee will vary with each vintage, but in 2013 it is 80% Gamay and 20% Pinot Noir.
The wine is delicate and fruity on the palate, with delightful raspberry, blackberry and Morello cherry notes. The firm tannin of the Pinoir Noir gives the wine a fine structure that beautifully complements the rounder, softer fruitiness of the Gamay.
This wine is imported in the United States by Loosen Brothers USA.
Postings on the Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)
Preview: Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015 and 2016)
Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Champagne Jean Josselin in Gyé-sur-Seine: Tour and Tasting with Jean Pierre Josselin - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
The Wines of Tonnerre, France – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Domaine Séguinot-Bordet in Maligny, Chablis: Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker Jean-François Bordet – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Domaine Brocard in Chablis: Lunch, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Odile Van Der Moere, Responsable de Cave – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Dinner at Hostellerie Chateau de la Barge in Creches-sur-Saone - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, Poully-Fuissé, Mâconnais: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Cyril Laumain, Chef de Cave – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Visit of the Abbey of Cluny and Lunch at Hostellerie d'Heloise in Cluny – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Domaine Theulot Juillot in Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Nathalie and Jean-Claude Theulot – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Olivier Leflaive: Vineyard Walk and Cellar Tour, with Patrick Leflaive – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet: Lunch with Wine Tasting at Restaurant La Table d’Olivier, with Patrick Leflaive - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Wine Tasting at Domaine Mestre Père & Fils in Santenay with Jonathan Maestre
Visit: Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils in Beaune
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne
Visit: Musée de l’Hospice de Beaune with Karoline Knoth, M.A.
Domaine A-F Gros in Beaune: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Owner and Winemaker Mathias Parent
Visit: Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune
Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-George: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Mathilde Nicolas (Brand Ambassador)
Wine Tasting at Domaine du Château de Prémeaux in Nuits Saint Georges with Owner and Winemaker Arnaud Pelletier
Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion in Vosne-Romanée: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Bernard Rion and Alice Rion
Domaine Guillon & Fils in Gevrey Chambertin: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Jean-Michel Guillon
Visit: Château du Clos de Vougeot