Blog: Producer Newsletters

  • Micro Burgundy Cuvées!

    December 5th, 2012

     
    Micro Burgundy Cuvées!
    Chantal and Yvon Contat-Grangé, Dezize-lès-Maranges, Burgundy
     
     
     
    Chantal and Yvon
     
     
    The homepage of Domaine Contat Grangé’s website proudly states, “We are based in Burgundy since 1981. No generation has gone before us, and probably none will follow us!” What an introductory statement to this small, quirky producer!
     

     

    Dezizes in the Southern part of
    the Cote de Beaune
     
     
    In our quest to find high quality, natural producers from Burgundy, we’ve gone off the beaten path to appellations that don’t have grand crus but still have good terroir and offer value. With Contat-Grangé, it was love at first sight.
     

     

    Southern end of the Cote de Beaune (right is North)
     
     

     

    The region of Maranges in the most southern point of the Côtes de Beaune was granted its AOC in 1988, and it has seven designated premier crus. It has become a more popular winemaking area since Chantal and Yves Contat-Grangé first set up shop here in 1981. There are still just a few good producers and many growers who continue to sell their grapes or wine off to negociants.
     
    Chantal and Yvon Contat-Grangé in
    Dezize-lès-Maranges

     

     
    Originally from Annecy, a small town in Haute-Savoie, Yvon and Chantal made their way south to Vaucluse before settling in Burgundy. After several years of working in the vineyards and fruit orchards, Yvon found his calling and the couple moved to Beaune where he received his enology and viticulture degrees. They purchased a house in the village of Dezize-lès-Maranges and still live on this property.
     
     
     
    View of Dezize-lès-Maranges (looking towards SW)
    in the bottom of the Cote de Beaune
     
     

    Since 1987, Contat-Grangé has practiced Integrated Pest Management, a method that relies on using natural predators and organic matter to rid the vineyard of pests. While they have always been de facto organic, they began the official process of organic conversion in 2008 and the wines became certified with the 2011 vintage.
     
    Dinner with Chantal and Yvon during Caravan Buyer Trip 2012 last May
     
    Over the last three decades, Yvon and Chantal increased their holdings to 6.5 hectares (16 acres). While Dezize-lès-Maranges has always been home, approximately 40% of Contat-Grangé’s  vineyards are located outside the area. They produce white wines from Aligoté, labeled simply as Bourgogne Aligoté, as well as a Bourgogne Rouge, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge and Bourgogne Hauts Côtes de Beaune Blanc made that is made from Chardonnay. A little bit of red and white wine is made from their Maranges neighbor, Santenay, and several wines including three premier crus hail from their home base.
      
     
    Cheilly-les-Maranges, southeast of Maranges, home of the domaine’s Bourgogne Rouge plot
     

      

    Many winemakers will tell you that their wine is made in the vineyard but Contat-Grangé does not just talk the talk, but arduously walks the walk starting with cordon pruning, debudding and cutting between the hearts of the vines to prevent vegetal qualities and botrytis from setting in. Harvest is done manually and the grapes are crushed by foot, or mostly likely, many feet.
     
    Only natural yeasts are used during fermentation and oak treatment is minimal.
     
      

    Domaine Contat-Grangé Bourgogne Rouge, 2010
    800 cases made
    Predominantly made from a lieu dit in the commune of Cheilly-lès-Maranges, this Bourgogne Rouge is quite a value. Floral with fresh, juicy cherries and hordes of terroir, this is a lean, bright, versatile Pinot Noir that will match an array of dishes yet is also delicious without food.
     
      

    Domaine Contat-Grangé Maranges, 2009
    300 cases made
    Made from several sixty year old vineyards that are loaded with clay, limestone and marl, this is one concentrated wine with strong mineral tones and a healthy dose of black cherry, blackberry, plums and spice. Give it a couple of hours to breathe and then serve it with duck and hearty root vegetable dishes.
     

       

     
    Domaine Contat-Grangé Santenay, ‘Saint Jean de Narosse,’ 2009
    300 cases made
    Like the Maranges, this Santenay underwent a three-week fermentation and spent one year in neutral oak but this is a classic case where terroir makes all the difference. Maranges can be classified by its darker berry quality while Santenay has red fruits, as is clearly shown in this terrific yet modest village level wine. With strawberry, raspberry and cherry-like fruit, spice and a hint of porcinis, this is an effusive, charming wine that will appeal to old and new world palates. 

     

     
     
     
     
     
      
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