French Club – February Allocation
Domaine de Rouges-Queues (Organic and Biodynamic)
At the southernmost end of the Côte d’Or is the relatively new (1989) appellation of Maranges, composed of the villages Cheilly, Dezize, and Sampigny. Formerly considered a source of structured blending wine for punching up Côtes-du-Beaune Villages wines, Maranges now produces some affordable Burgundy of great character.
Located in the town of Sampigny-lès-Maranges, Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey’s Domaine des Rouges Queues produces lovely wines which start with old vines and great farming. The Vanteys have worked the vines without chemicals since 1998 and made the transition to biodynamics from 2008.
Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey founded their small winery in Sampigny-Lès-Maranges in 1998 with one hectare of Maranges vineyards. They began adding parcels of other vineyards to form an estate which today encompasses 14 acres spread over 10 appellations.
Their farming practices are both organic and biodynamic and minimal sulfur is used in the wine making process, with the goal being to use just enough to preserve the natural fruit and terroir complexity brought from a healthy harvest of ripe grapes. Their cellar work is non-interventionist; the fermentation is spontaneous in stainless and open-top wooden fermenters. The aging is in neutral oak and sulfur is used sparingly. The wines display succulent fruit, great freshness, and have detailed minerality. These are sturdy, honest, satisfying wines which should age nicely.
Their vineyards are plowed in the springtime and then hoed by hand during the growing season for weed control. The premier cru and white wine vineyards are plowed by horse to avoid compacting the soil. Hand-harvesting is the rule by a group of faithful friends and pickers that return almost every year. Reds are partially de-stemmed with the percentage dependent on the health of the harvest. Only wild indigenous yeasts are used and maceration times for the red wines tend to be 12-14 days.
The vines date from 1960 and 1973 in the premier cru La Fussière and average 60 years old in the village Maranges.
En Bulliet is a tiny village level vineyard of 75+ year old vines, South and Southeast exposure on ancient limestone soils. Intense and supple, with a bouquet of dried rose petals and peony, with a hint of licorice on the finish.
Vigne Blanche is a one acre plot, planted in 1978 onto Triassic clay and Jurassic limestone. The wine is 100% whole cluster foot trod, and then left to macerate for 14 days. Ten months of elevage with no filtration before bottling.
La Fussière is the largest of the premier crus with plenty of Jurassic limestone making up its soils. Biodynamically farmed. Medium-dark ruby robe. Pretty floral aromatics, with red fruits and a hint of spice. There’s a good density of cherry-raspberry fruit balanced by detailed tannins and buoyed by lively acidity on a long finish. There is charm and class here!