2014 Catherine and Claude Marechal Bourgogne Cuvee Gravel

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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

 

2014 Bourgogne Rouge “Cuvée Gravel” - This is absolutely joyous as always. Produced from vines around Beaune and Pommard, it displays a pretty perfume of sweet Griotte cherries with an attractive floral lift. It’s quite impressively concentrated for Bourgogne but that’s not really surprising given Claude’s prudent viticulture and that he harvests only fully ripe grapes. The mouthfeel is caressingly fleshy and supple with attractive brightness and cut. This is very fine, affordable, authentic red Burgundy.