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A beautiful village of grand chateaus and quaint houses in Savigny-les-Beaune, Burgundy, France.
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Savigny-les-Beaune

“Theological, nourishing and death-defying”. The local motto of the large village of Savigny-les-Beaune certainly makes some bold claims about the wines that are produced here. Many would swear to all three, however, after tasting these wines, which are amongst the finest in Burgundy and surely one of its best-kept secrets. The village itself nestles in a valley of the Côte d’Or escarpment, near to the town of Beaune (‘les’ means ‘near’ in French). Most of the wines made here are red (Pinot Noir of course) but around 10% are white, from the Chardonnay grape. The valley that the village is situated in has made Savigny-les-Beaune one of the most fruitful regions of Burgundy with a huge volume of wine produced—lots of south-facing slopes, with the lower ones full of fertile silt from the Rhoin river. Higher up the valley, think of the Corton mountain (home of some of the most valuable and revered white Burgundy wines) and you’ll get an idea of the quality and the geology here. Although there are no Grand Cru plots, the 22 Premier Cru climats of Savigny-les-Beaune are just waiting to be discovered. But don’t merely confine your pleasures to the wines from around here – get to know the charming village, and visit if you can. Its chateau houses a collection of racing cars and fighter planes (which chateau worth its salt wouldn’t?) and there’s a church with a glorious Romanesque bell tower to enjoy too. Throw in great campsites and wine festivals, and it remains one of the best kept secrets of Burgundy. And whoever engraved the stonework of some of the houses here summed up the most compelling reasons to drink which have ever been recorded. The reasons for the consumption of wine in Savigny go as follows: ‘the arrival of a guest, current thirst, future thirst, not to mention the quality of the wine, and all those you’d care to imagine’. We’ll drink to that.

White Wines

Savigny whites should be greeny gold, sometimes pale. Its nose is flowery and fresh, biscuity and citric with a touch of minerality in the best parcels. A lively attack keeps the overall effect fresh and clean, fleshy, persistent, and with an occasional touch of spice. The whites would suit sauced fish dishes, while its richness can stand up to buttery preparations and sauces. It works well with goat cheeses, Gruyère and Comté, and fresh, milky cheeses like Cîteaux.

Red Wines

Red Savigny is a deep cherry color, going towards garnet. Its bouquet should be of red and black fruits (blackcurrant, cherry, raspberry) and flowers (violet). The body is ample and discreetly tannic and the fruit is generally forward. Roundness, volume and power should all be there. And when the balance is right, Savigny red can be among the most charming wines of the Cote de Beaune. They are solid and mouth-watering, with power enough to match for good cuts of beef, or even cooked foie gras. With roast fowl, the wine's fleshiness will compensate for the fibrous flesh of the bird and in the same way may soften more aromatic poultry dishes. For cheeses, it would do better with creamy types such as Chaource, Brie de Meaux, Reblochon, Mont d'Or or Époisses.

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