Claude Maréchal is a winemaker who most people have not heard about, especially outside France despite his estate being rated at the same level as Dujac, Carillon, d’Angerville, Ponsot and Sauzet in France’s most respected wine guide – La Revue du Vin de France.
His principles in the vineyards are straightforward: the vineyards are plowed, no herbicides are used, treatments are kept to a minimum and the pruning is severe to keep yields low. Vinification takes place in open wooden vats, all grapes are totally destemmed (à la Jayer), and fermentation is not induced by adding cultured yeast, so it can take a few days to start (a “natural” cold pre-maceration) using it’s own. New barrels are added every year for maturation, but their proportion stays very low in order to produce wines where fruit dominates.It is important to stress that there is no recipe here. Winemaking follows a general theme, but techniques may be changed from year to year to suit the conditions of the vintage.
This estate is without doubt one of the best kept secrets in Burgundy.
2017 Chorey les Beaune Rouge The 2017 Chorey-les-Beaune is again sensational. For a Villages wine from the Côte de Beaune it is brilliant. I think it almost the standard bearing red wine at this estate to me and certainly the bottle that led to my discovery of this great estate back in 2007. This generous fruit forward vintage has again provided superb quality – seductive aromas, expansive and sweetly fruited in the mouth and with great dimension on the finish. Has density next to the sheer elegance of the Auxey Duresses and has the Allen Meadows “inner mouth perfume” in spades.