This wine caught us by surprise with its inky-black color and bold, deep aromas right out of the bottle.  Somewhat atypical from what we usually expect to find around Mâcon.  This red was nearly brooding and very impressive, but well balanced and not one-dimensional. A definite taste of hot minerality and darkened red fruit around a nicely structured frame which could withstand another 5 or more years in the bottle and become even more interesting.  “Wow” was the word around the table. Sediment was evident in the bottle (see photo), which again, can be unusual for a wine around Macon. Marc and Vinciane Dumont run the winery at the domain (http://www.demessey.com).   The folks over at  International Vineyards (http://www.intvin.com/fiches_techniques/FT_MaconCruzille.pdf) have a superb overview of the domaine worth reading.  Excellent.  About €24 at a restaurant.  Photo above is from the Le Relais d’Ozenay‎.

This country-style restaurant along the road just 10 minutes outside Tournus has wonderful food prepared very nicely by a chef and his wife. We had a lengthy luncheon as a group of 5 and loved it.  As mentioned in a Trip Advisor review, I agree the quality is definitely star-worthy and a rare treat.  Inventive and well-balanced courses with great ingredients matched with a nice wine list covering a good variety of wines from the Macon region of Bourgogne.   Freindly, helpful service and dog-friendly terrace in the rear garden. Definitely worth driving to if you are near Tournus!  Get off the beaten path and discover the gems in the countryside.  Read another review at the ViaMichelin guide.
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Website: http://www.le-relais-dozenay.com/

The 2010 St. Vincent wine festival was held in Chassagne-Montrachet – superb white Burgundy territory.  Below are some photos from this very, very cold day.  Truly epic white wines.

Picamelot "Clos Du Chaigne" Rully 1er Cru Blanc 2007

We asked David Roland of Cellier Henry IV in Givry to recommend some white Burgundies to go with fois gras we were having as the first course of a birthday dinner.  Naturally, he agreed we needed a “fat” white to stand up and complement the strong flavor and substance of fois gras, and he recommended several whites we then tasted at home.  The “Clos Du Chaigne” 2007  Rully  premier cru from Louis Picalemot was super.  “Profound and round” is what we found in this white.  This white is something we found ealier (see previous post) but completely forgot about!  Our second tasting again confirmed our original findings that this wine had a wonderful glycerine-silkiness and lingering flavors with plenty of “fat”, smooth roundness.  Very fulfilling and delicious….and priced between €14-€16!

 

magasin-interieur4

Cellier Henry IV of Givry

David Roland’s Cellier Henry IV in Givry is one of those small, cozy wine stores you wish was right around the corner from wherever you live.   Mr. Roland specializes in wines from the smaller, perhaps lesser-known wineries of the Cote Chalonnaise, and carries a wide selection of vin blanc, vin rouge, cremant and a surprising array of whiskeys and champagnes.  His website is more up-to-date with his inventory than many other wine vendors and he is proud to personally help his customers select just the right wine for their needs.  David Roland helped us select wines to pair with a birthday dinner, and after suggesting some various reds, whites and cremants, we settled on our choices, happy as could be.  Perhaps the best part of his tiny store in Givry is the ability to find smaller domaines at very, very reasonable prices.  Purposely avoiding the hyper-priced wines so common in Beaune to the North (David lives in Beaune!), David focuses on many wines under €20 and has a deep selection of styles and perhaps more vintage selections than you typically find.  Definitely look for the wine bottles sitting on the old barrels on the Rue de Republique in front of his little shop. He is an enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable seller of wines of the Cote Chalonnaise, and he can probably recommend a wine you may not know about, but will bring you hours of happy tasting.  He also carries selections of wines from other regions of France…so you don’t have to concentrate solely on Burgundy. Check him out at  http://www.cellierhenri4.com.

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Domaine Ragot (Givry) 1er Cru "La Grande Berge" Rouge 2007

Another good find from La Maison Des Vin in Chalon Sur Saone.  For about €15, this premier cru from Domaine Ragot of Givry shows great character, even at its young vintage of 2007.    Smoothly balanced with deep red fruit core, slight woody flavor and rounded tannins giving it a structure and depth of flavor.  This one developed more flavors after being opened to the air for about an hour or more, and became more impressive as time passed.  Medium bodied, with color tending to the lighter side, but rich flavors and depth beyond its color.  Warm aromas of deep red fruit and hints of woodiness. This wine comes from 5.89 hectares of vines in Givry. Very nice work.  Tim Akins quoted at 3D Wines seemed to agree! We will definitely buy more of this one, and we want to try the white next.

Contact:
Domaine Ragot
4, rue de l’école
71640 Givry

tel:03 85 44 35 67
fax: 03 85 44 38 84

http://www.domaine-ragot.com

Todd an Tony toast the fruits of their labor.

Todd an Tony toast the fruits of their labor.

As a slight departure from unknown things in Bourgogne, we present unknown winemaking in Vermont, USA.  Despite Vermont’s reputation as a tough place to grow fruit such as grapes, the interest and dedication to wine and the cultivation of local varieties  is growing each year, and becoming more vigorous each season.

Below are some images of Todd Trzaskos and his trusty assistants Tony and Don crafting wines in the cellar of Todd & Andrea’s antique Vermont farmhouse near one of the most famous swimming holes in the Green Mountain State: Gaysville.

Since only a few grape varieties are hardy enough to survive the long winters in Vermont (although some new varieties are becoming very, very good and promising in this State!), many amateur or hobby winemakers rely upon imported juice and grapes to begin their production of white or red wines.

The difference between the French and American wine hobbists is only distance…..Enjoy.

Climate-controlled primary fermentation chamber

Climate-controlled primary fermentation chamber

Secondary fermentation in glass "carboys"

Secondary fermentation in glass "carboys"

Local Vermont-grown, northern-hardy grapes are pressed with a small handpress.

Local Vermont-grown, northern-hardy grapes are pressed with a small handpress.

Grapes go in one device....wine comes out the other....

Grapes go in one device....wine comes out the other....

Bentonite is added as a clarifying agent to attract particulates which fall to the bottom after fermentation

Bentonite is added as a clarifying agent to attract particulates which fall to the bottom after fermentation

Variety juices shipped from around the world enable many types of wines to be made at home. (Mencia juice here)

Varietal juices shipped from around the world enable many types of wines to be made at home. (Spanish Mencia juice going into the primary fermenter here)

Some kits include a crushed grape pack to add to the juice. (The remaining drops of juice are being rinsed from the bag in this photo)

Some kits include a crushed grape pack to add to the juice. (Todd rinses the last bits from the grape pack in this photo)

The primary fermenter rests in its temperature chamber, ready for the yeast to be added...

The primary fermenter rests in its temperature chamber, ready for the yeast to be added...

The yeast is added to the juice / grape mixture....then it ferments!

The yeast is added to the juice / grape mixture....then it ferments!

Sterilize and clean the bottles.....

Sterilize and clean the bottles.....

Bottling 3 at a time.

Bottling 3 at a time with the gravity filler.

Cork 'em.

Cork 'em.

Tasting station with record-keeping logbook and obligatory bottle of ancient Petrus.

Tasting station with record-keeping logbook and obligatory bottle of ancient Petrus.

The final bottled results rest here...

The final bottled results rest here...

Todd an Tony toast the fruits of their labor.

Todd an Tony toast the fruits of their labor.

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