Wines of the Day: Chassagne Rouge from Morey, Gagnard, Moreau, & Pillot 7-10-16

Domaine Jean-Noel Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Cuvee L’Estimee, Cote de Beaune 2011 750ML ($37.95) Buy Now: $29 special

Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($69.95) Buy Now: $59 special

Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($49.95) Buy Now: $39 special

Thomas Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($39.95) Buy Now: $36 special

Chassagne Rouge from Morey, Gagnard, Moreau, & Pillot

Chassagne Rouge from Morey, Gagnard, Moreau, & Pillot

It’s tough to straightjacket wine, though laws and preconceptions sometimes try. Most of us think of Burgundy’s Chassagne-Montrachet as a white wine village, for good reason: they’re some of the world’s finest Chardonnays. Yet only a few generations ago Chassagne produced more red than white. The soils, of course, didn’t change. Limestone marl dominates portions of Chassagne’s vineyards, to the joy of Pinot Noir. And fortunately, no law or bias forbids growing reds in the white wine country of the Côte d’Or. Chassagne Rouge still exists, and remains delicious. The wine’s earthy, fruity, straight-forward character is a nice break from Burgundy’s more serious (and spendy) wines, though there is Premier Cru Chassagne red. And it reminds the palate of Oregon’s own Pinots. Serve a red Chassagne blind at a tasting and no one will guess its origin, while the wine’s humble-yet-dignified nature will no doubt impress. -Daniel

p.s. Burghound knows, and this note for the 2011 Gagnard L’Estimée well summarizes village-level Chassagne reds: “A very fresh and expressive nose of red and blue pinot fruit with pepper and earth hints leads to rich, delicious and nicely complex middle weight flavors that offer good persistence and only a mild touch of rusticity on the sappy finish. This should be approachable, and enjoyable, young if desired.”