A Wonderful Overview of Burgundy Wines at Maison Chanson, Beaune

Thanks to Franck Fouratier, France sales director of Maison Chanson, I recently took part in a fantastic tasting at the château in Beaune.

Burgundy is a fascinating area when it comes to wine. Maison Chanson is a “négociant-éleveur” house (they own vineyards, buy grapes in bulk and are merchants too). Based in Beaune, they own vines all over Burgundy and sell wine everywhere in the world. More of a small business than most Beaune merchants, I really love the professionalism and detail-oriented work of this company. Extremely demanding with quality, they recently invested in very modern wine-making equipment. This will allow them to be even more precise with their work in the upcoming years.

Unlike Bordeaux, a Burgundy tasting always starts with red wine and ends with white wine.

There is a funny local saying that goes “blanc sur rouge, rien ne bouge ; rouge sur blanc, tout fout le camp” which translates to “white after red, nothing changes ; red after white everything’s different”. (Sorry, it doesn’t sound quite as good in english!)

Below is the tasting review, the following wines are all part of the range of Maison Chanson :

(Remember that Burgundy wines are single-varietals : red wine is Pinot Noir, white wine is Chardonnay.)

Red Wine :

Marsannay 2012 : A fruity nose, simple but pleasant. Juicy and fruity mouth with a simple finish.

Monthélie 2011 : The nose is a little closed. Slightly overoaked. On the palate, this wine has more structure than the first one but the finish is a bit firm and hard.

Pernand-Vergelesses, Premier Cru Les Vergelesses, 2012 : Chanson owns 134 acres of vine in “Les Vergelesses”, a well-known Premier Cru. Fine and fresh nose. Blackcurrant/blackberry notes. Fruit-forward, deep and well structured in the mouth. However, the finish is a little rustic and dry. Medium length.

Beaune Bastion, Premier Cru, 2010 : Warm and ripe nose. Slightly spicy. On the palate, this wine is fleshy and well balanced. Very flavorful. Very nice bottle.

Clos des Mouches, Beaune Premier Cru, 2010 : (Chanson and Drouhin are the only two owning parcels in Clos des Mouches, it comes in red and white wine. One of my personal favorites). Complex and elegant nose. Floral, ripe and slightly toasted. On the palate, it’s subtle and perfectly balanced. Delicious freshness. Svelte and slender shape in the middle of the mouth. Very elegant. Beautiful expression of Pinot Noir on a limestone base. Long and delicious finish with silky tannins. High quality wine. Wait 3 to 5 additional years before opening.

Clos des Marconnets, Beaune Premier Cru, 2009 : Ripe and warm nose. Black fruits and notes of prune are dominant. Good body, good balance and tasteful in the mouth. Fine and elegant tannins. Long finish. Another very nice bottle but in a completely different style.

Gevrey Chambertin 2011 : Extremely fruity and pleasant.

White Wine :

Mâcon-La Roche Vineuse 2012 : Very tasteful and pleasurable. Notes of peach. A bit flat. Lacks some liveliness to get to the next level.

Montagny, Premier cru, 2012 : Ripe nose. On the palate, there is more flesh and “fat” in this wine than in the previous one. Also more crisp and fresh. Pleasant fruity finish of medium length. Nice wine.

Monthélie 2012 : Average.

Saint-Aubin, Les Pitengerets, Premier Cru, 2011 : A very pure and precise nose. Notes of pear. On the palate, it’s delicious, fresh and very tasteful. Slight vanilla flavor. Very good balance. Long and lovely finish.

Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Chenevottes, Premier Cru, 2011: Elegant nose. Floral and fruity. On the palate, it’s superb. Beautiful body and “fat”, perfect balance. Amazing finish and extremely long aftertaste. Such a finish is always the number one sign of a great wine and of a great terroir. Impossible to spit!

Corton Vergennes, Grand Cru, 2009 : Very complex nose. Notes of butter, toast and ripe fruits. Great structure in the mouth, the wine ends on a long noble finish. Great bottle.

Overall, this tasting proved that Maison Chanson works extremely well and produces high quality wines. It was also a remainder that Burgundy is a blessed land when it comes to making great wine. There are very few places in the world that produce such pure and elegant red and white wines.