Juicy, “Succulent” Underrated 2018 Red Burgundy

You might forget where Maranges is, but you won’t forget this wine.

Maranges is the Côte d’Or’s forgotten appellation. In the past it was known for its unrefined, tannic wines — Burgundians used to call it “le medecin” (the doctor) because some winemakers secretly blended it into thinner Côte d’Or reds to bulk up weak vintages.

But today its reputation needs revision. Advances in winemaking and warmer summers mean that Maranges now produces wines of real character and complexity. They rarely reach the depth or elegance of reds from Volnay or Pommard, but they offer early enjoyment and pleasant textures. And Roger Belland’s Maranges 1er cru “Clos Roussot” 2018 is the best Maranges we’ve ever had.

Belland’s 2018 Maranges is, of course, pure Pinot Noir, but it borrows a bit of the nearby Beaujolais’s jubilant spirit — think red Burgundy with the soul of a Cru Beaujolais. The 2018 vintage delivered unprecedented heat and sun in Burgundy, and the resulting wines are full of both ripeness and muscle.

This wine arrived last fall, and since then has maintained its cheerful, delicious character, while adding notes of toast, spice and earth. The nose is cool and dark, with plum and cinnamon in the nose; the mouth is dark, intense, and full, with punchy tannins and lots of stuffing.

Don’t let the “where’s-that-again?” appellation fool you — this is real, characterful red Burgundy at an attractive price.


Belland Maranges 1er “Clos Roussot”
bottle price: $38

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