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Côte Chalonnaise: 5 great value communes

Waiting patiently for your Burgundies from the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits to reach their fully mature exquisiteness? The five wine-producing communes of the Côte Chalonnaise a little further south provide some excellent options for earlier drinking, advises Clive Coates MW

Côte ChalonnaiseThe area of Côte Chalonnaise has much going for it. Most importantly, the wines are some of Burgundy‘s best value for money. A premier cru will cost you around £25 a bottle. The village wines cost even less, but except in very good vintages it usually pays to trade up.

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Secondly, the wines evolve fast. The whites are ready after a year or 18 months in bottle, the reds soften and mellow a few years after that.

And they will keep. The 2010 and 2009 whites are holding up well. And I still have 2002 reds in my cellar, which are delicious.

The Côte Chalonnaise spans five communes, beginning to the southeast – and closer to the River Saône – of Santenay, the southernmost commune of the Côte d’Or. The soil is largely crumbly limestone, without the hard rock found in the Côte de Nuits and in Chassagne-Montrachet, mixed variously with clay, gravel and sand, and with marl on higher slopes, this latter absent in the Côte d’Or.

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