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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


Finally we arrive in Bouzeron. It is an appellation for Aligoté grapes only, but note that the word Aligoté does not appear on the label. Nor are there any first growths. The Pinots and Chardonnays are simply Bourgogne Rouge or Blanc, Côte Chalonnaise. The 55ha of Aligoté lie on both sides of a north-south valley just south of the town of Chagny, and the best sub-variety is Aligoté Doré. From the cellars of those such as Aubert and Pamela de Villaine this is a lovely wine, with a crisp, racy, individual flavour and heaps of personality.

Best grower: A & P de Villaine

Bouzeron Domaine A & P de Villaine, Blanc 2013
17 (90)
Made from Aligoté. I list this, not because the 2013 is brilliant: it isn’t. But the 2012 is, and still available. And yet the yield in this vintage was the usual 45hl/ha, while in 2013 it was 28hl/ha. Snap up the 2012 while stocks last.

Price: £21.95 (2012) Corney & Barrow, Vin Cognito
Drink 2015-2016
Alc 12.5%

It seems like extolling a bicycle in a garage of Harley Davidsons, but I urge you to explore the Côte Chalonnaise. You won’t regret it.

Clive Coates MW has been writing for Decanter since its inception in 1975, and wrote in one of the earliest issues on the Côte Chalonnaise. Keep posted as we build up to the Decanter 40th anniversary.

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