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The Ideal Bistro Rouge

The Ideal Bistro Rouge

by Tom Wolf by Tom Wolf

A sale selection from the The Classics Sale A sale selection from the The Classics Sale

2021 Bourgogne Rouge

2021 Bourgogne Rouge

La Soeur Cadette   

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La Soeur Cadette    France   |  Burgundy   |  Bourgogne

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Valentin Montanet is one of the few vignerons I know who falls into two different schools of winemaking depending on whether he is producing white or red Burgundy. Having been influenced by Chablis’s illustrious Raveneau family, Valentin—and his father Jean before him—produces pure, complex, and classically Burgundian Chardonnay. But when it comes to Pinot Noir, which is like a blank slate in his sliver of Burgundy, Valentin leans more toward his comrades in Morgon than to most domaines in the Côte-d’Or. It’s not that you’d ever mistake this beautiful Bourgogne rouge for Gamay, as Pinot Noir’s trademark notes of cherries, black tea, and earth are all front and center. It’s rather that, in this cuvée, which never surpasses 13% in alcohol, Valentin always prizes the high-toned fruit, refreshment, and joyousness that today are most associated with the best of the Beaujolais. He achieves these qualities thanks to northern Burgundy’s relatively cool climate, which he harnesses to find the lighter and brighter side of Pinot. When I close my eyes and try to dream up the ideal bistro red, it doesn’t come any closer than this. Pair it with just about anything and, if you have time, try your hand at Georgeanne Brennan’s chicken in mustard sauce.

You can find Georgeanne Brennan’s recipe here.

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More from this Producer or Region

About The Region

Burgundy

map of Burgundy

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.

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Inspiring Thirst

A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117

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Take 20% OFF this and other wines in the collection, now through the end of the month.