If you’re looking for a new wine to add to your rotation of all-purpose rosés, try a bottle of Régis Bouvier’s lively, strawberry-scented Marsannay Rosé. It’s Pinot Noir at its most delicate and mouth-watering, and beyond that, it is completely unique in Burgundy, a land renowned first and foremost for great whites and reds. The only village-level appellation in Burgundy allowed to produce pink wines, Marsannay may also be home to the region’s most versatile wine. Crisp and dry, yet vinous and mouth-filling, his Marsannay rosé runs the whole gamut of possible pairings. Flawlessly refreshing as an apéritif, it can substitute a Burgundian Chardonnay in virtually any situation. It also stands up to foods that typically demand a red, such as a roast chicken or mixed summer grill. And lastly, it matches beautifully with southeast Asian cuisine, Mediterranean fare, and highly-spiced foods—places where white and red Burgundy dare not venture! Note the deep color of Bouvier’s 2018—consider it proof of no enological adjustments, just pure, direct-press Pinot Noir as the vintage intended. Providing the freshness of white Burgundy with the seductiveness of red Burgundy, this distinct expression of Pinot is about as versatile and thirst-quenching as they come.
Régis Bouvier in Marsannay achieves a rare hat trick in Burgundy, the mastering of all three colors–red, white and rosé, through reasonable yields and high quality terroirs. Bouvier makes the best Burgundian rosé that we have ever tasted, his whites are delicious, with their own particular character completely unlike other Chardonnays from Burgundy, and his reds are his crowning achievement, managing to be wild and exciting while refined and elegant at the same time.
In eastern central France, Burgundy is nestled between the wine regions of Champagne to the north, the Jura to the east, the Loire to the west, and the Rhône to the south. This is the terroir par excellence for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The southeast-facing hillside between Dijon in the north and Maranges in the south is known as the Côte d’Or or “golden slope.” The Côte d’Or comprises two main sections, both composed of limestone and clay soils: the Côte de Nuits in the northern sector, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. Both areas produce magnificent whites and reds, although the Côte de Beaune produces more white wine and the Côte de Nuits more red.
Chablis is Burgundy’s northern outpost, known for its flinty and age-worthy Chardonnays planted in Kimmeridgian limestone on an ancient seabed. Vézelay is a smaller area south of Chablis with similar qualities, although the limestone there is not Kimmeridgian.
To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise extends from Chagny on its northern end, down past Chalon-sur-Saône and encompasses the appellations of Bouzeron in the north, followed by Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny.
Directly south of the Chalonnaise begins the Côte Mâconnais, which extends south past Mâcon to the hamlets of Fuissé, Vinzelles, Chaintré, and Saint-Véran. The Mâconnais is prime Chardonnay country and contains an incredible diversity of soils.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
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