Unlike many of its New World counterparts, the pleasure of Bourgogne Blanc (aka Bourgogne Chardonnay) lies neither in power nor in the preponderance of new oak. Instead, the 2017 Vignerons Réunis de Buxy Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Chardonnay, like its predecessors and the best Bourgogne Blancs, offers a wine of spritely good cheer. It is a wine imbued with ethereal charm, finesse, purity, and subtlety of flavor. It possesses all of Chardonnay’s unadulterated characteristics and offers thirst quenching drinkability, too. The delight begins with the wine’s color, a brilliant glint of afternoon sunshine, and continues with a pleasing bouquet of spring flowers, citrus oil and freshly picked summer apples. The wine’s charming bouquet persists in the mouth to both please and refresh the palate. Although always a crowd pleaser, we found the 2017 Vignerons Réunis de Buxy Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Chardonnay to be the finest Buxy to date from the Vignerons Réunis. The 2017 positively glides over the tongue and ever so easily slips down the throat, which made our tasting panel members beg for more and wish they had several more bottles of this Cuvée Réserve on ice. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest only moderate chilling (40º-45º F) of the 2017 Vignerons Réunis de Buxy Bourgogne Chardonnay, so as not to detract from the wine’s delicate flavors. Enjoy!
Although most hors d’oeuvres and light starters offer excellent accompaniments to the 2017 Vignerons Réunis de Buxy Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Chardonnay, shellfish and the fruits of the sea provide our favorite pairings with this friendly, quaffable Côte Chalonnaise. Scallops, shrimp, and prawns make good partners to this wine, as do mussels sautéed in a cream sauce infused with saffron. Baked, grilled, poached or sautéed flounder, sole or sea bass pair beautifully with this elegant white wine, too. And for those who eschew the fruits of the sea, there is chicken fricassee, light pastas, and salads. However, the glory of any good Bourgogne Chardonnay is its ability to shine unadorned, and the 2017 Vignerons Réunis de Buxy shines brightly as an aperitif. Either way, before you know it, the glass and the bottle will be empty. Bon appétit!
Vignerons Réunis de Buxy fashions several tasty, gratifying white Burgundies. We discovered this tiny gem of a cooperative a decade ago and continue to be impressed by the consistent quality and value that this superbly run winery has to offer. Whether it is the winery’s excellent Premier Cru Montagny or Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Chardonnay, the thirty growers of the Vignerons Réunis de Buxy fashion white wines worth seeking out. The wine for this month’s feature (Cuvée Réserve Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017) emanates from the growers’ vineyards surrounding the tiny Burgundy village of Buxy on the Côte Chalonnaise.
The Côte Chalonnaise is the least known of Burgundy’s wine regions, but this sequestered set of low hills and tiny villages will not likely remain unnoticed for much longer. Increasingly, the Côte Chalonnaise is becoming the source of many unexpected pleasures and a veritable treasure trove of beautiful wines at affordable prices. Situated to the east of the sleepy little town of Chalon-sur-Saône from which the region inherits its name, the Côte Chalonnaise is for all intents and purposes a continuation of the fabled Côte de Beaune that lies just to the north.
As in all of Burgundy, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir comprise the predominant grape varieties on the Côte Chalonnaise, with allowance made for small amounts of Pinot Blanc for the region’s white wines and Pinot Liebault and Pinot Beurot for its reds. The latter two Pinots are nearly identical to Pinot Noir. Four important communes dominate the region: Givry, Mercurey, Montagny, and Rully – all bona fide Burgundy appellations in their own right. In Givry and Mercurey, the emphasis is on the production of good to excellent red wines, as Pinot Noir reigns supreme in their vineyards. Meanwhile, Rully and Montagny specialize in fashioning delicious, easy to drink white Burgundies from Chardonnay grapes. The tiny town of Buxy is part of the Montagny appellation, which in recent years has begun to fashion wines that compete with many of the more renowned white Burgundies of the Côte de Beaune, where wines of comparable quality cost two and three times the price. The wines of the Côte Chalonnaise that are grown just outside the boundaries of the four major communes or exceed the legal production for their respective communes are sold as Bourgogne Blanc (Chardonnay) and Bourgogne Rouge, and they constitute some of the region’s best values and unexpected pleasures. Enjoy!
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