Domaine Caroline Bellavoine, Maranges
Domaine Caroline Bellavoine, Maranges

Domaine Caroline Bellavoine, Maranges

Burgundy, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$60.00

Domaine Caroline Bellavoine, Maranges

We love a feel good story, and when it involves tiny production, top-notch wine that screams terroir and tradition, we’re contractually obligated to share it with you! So of course we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to introduce you to Caroline Bellavoine, a super-talented, incredibly hard-working woman that is making a splash with her sublimely elegant Burgundies. In fact, we’re so enamored with her wines that we couldn’t stop with just one, which is why you get a bonus offer of her top red. Her Maranages AOC is a bigger, deeper, more soulful and intense older sibling to her Bourgogne Rouge. There is serious length, depth, and breadth in this bottle, and the story behind this new domaine only makes it more enjoyable. Oh, and one little biographical tidbit we forgot to mention this morning: Caroline is not only running her entire operation, she is also a single mother of five children. Super impressive. Good people, good wine, and a good reason to stock up!

Caroline Bellavoine grew up in Paris and was well along a successful career path there when she came to the realization that her real passion was for wine, and that her job had nothing to do with that. So she gathered up her savings and went to scout out small domaines to purchase in Burgundy. Simple, right? If only. Breaking into the insular world of winemaking in France is never easy, since familial and cultural traditions take precedence and inheritance is the name of the game, but Burgundy is a whole different ball game. This is some of the most expensive agricultural land on the planet, where some small plots are worth their weight in gold. And as such there is very little incentive to sell to outsiders that don’t have the resources equivalent to a small nation state, and even if you do have pockets that deep the answer is still usually “no.” So Caroline looked around at the edges, in appellations that don’t have a ton of built in pedigree, and that is where she discovered a small estate in the tiny village of Saint-Sernin-du-Plein, in the obscure appellation of Côte du Couchois. 

Caroline owns and farms about six and a half hectares, mostly from vineyards surrounding her cellar in the Couchois, but she also has a small parcel of 30-40 year old vines in the nearby commune of Dezize-les-Maranges, just over the border of the Côte Chalonnais. Maranges is the southernmost village of the Côte de Beaune, and it is probably the most overlooked and underrated appellation in this world famous wine region. It has a reputation for being overtly rustic, with tough tannins, but in fact that has been changing over the past decade or two. And Caroline is leading the charge to up the reputation here. Her deft touch produces a wine of finesse and balance, where the fruit is vibrant and deep, the texture silky smooth, and the structure perfectly balanced.

Where this morning’s Bourgogne Rouge is basically ready to go right out of the gate, the Maranges is ideal for a short- to medium-term rest in the cellar. That said, it is certainly very enjoyable today with a good decant of about an hour. Serve cellar cool, around 55-60 degrees, in a nice Burgundy stem and enjoy deep, red-black fruits and classic savory notes of game and sauvage. The nose is explosive, with black cherries, raspberries, violets, roses, cinnamon, cocoa powder, herbs, and forest floor. I would definitely recommend pulling out some classic French recipes, like duck confit or coq au vin, in order to fully take in the sultry, seductive beauty of this splendid effort from Caroline.

Domaine Caroline Bellavoine, Maranges

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