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A bottle of Maranges wine featured on a table in a wine cellar.
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Maranges

At the southern tip of the Côte de Beaune lies the somewhat lesser-known appellation of Maranges. It’s a neighbour of Domaine de Cromey, the home of Elden Selections and illustrates nicely how much things have moved on in this area over the last thirty years or so. Maranges was not really spoken of several decades ago, and nearby Santenay was considered to be rustic and not on many wine buyer’s lists. Now, producers like Bernard Regnaudot and his son Florian are amongst the driving forces of wine production in the area, creating wines of great quality and renown. Maranges produces its complex wines from three communes just west of the more well-known village of Santenay, bearing the suffix -Lès-Maranges; Sampigny, Dézize and Cheilly all share the Maranges cru and are a real joy to discover. (For the historically minded, the AC only came into existence in 1989 due to their amalgamation and, although situated in the département of Saône-et- Loire, the appellation forms an integral part of the Côte de Beaune).

White Wines

As with nearly every village in this zone, the plantation of Chardonnay is on the rise. White wines used to account for less than 1% of the output but now make up more than 15%. White Santenay should be brilliant greeny gold, mineral and floral. Those who like their wines grassy, nutty and with a fresh minerality that continues through a long finish won’t be disappointed. This white would be a great choice for soft, unctuous dishes like fish cous-cous, mushroom risotto or poultry in a creamy sauce. For cheese pairings, look for a Beaufort or Comté.

Red Wines

Maranges reds are a brilliant raspberry red. Their fruit notes are blackcurrant and spicy. The wines are warm, juicy, with a tannic structure that has become delicate and subtle, as producers have learned to produce softer tannins. Liquorice and pepper are the foundations that this otherwise fruity Pinot are based upon. They are generally for early drinking, but with a good acidic balance to keep them fresh for years. The reds of Maranges can be velvety but quite firm, with tannins that need roasted meats with a crunchiness: roast fowl (dark or white meat), roast lamb, or rabbit. These wines also go well with country pâtés. For cheese, go for creaminess Brillat-Savarin, Brie or Reblochon.

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