Maranges is a wine appellation that takes its name from the suffixes of three village names in the Côte de Beaune: Cheilly-lès-Maranges, Dezize-lès-Maranges, and Sampigny-lès-Maranges. Altogether the three villages make up about 5.7 square miles; about 420 acres of vineyards exist. Roughly half of the 420 acres makes up Maranges' 9 Premiers Crus.
The majority of Maranges production is red wine from Pinot Noir. The wines are simple in style, but generally are fairly dense and should be aged for a while to show their best flavors. Despite the fact that less than 5% of production is made up of Chardonnay-based white wine, the few whites produced here often show more promise than the reds.
Maranges was given AOC status in 1989. Up until then, most Maranges producers were labeling their wine under the Côte de Beaune-Villages appellation. Since Maranges has yet to gain serious recognition for either its red or white wines, a number of them still do.
Climate and Viticulture
The four villages are located in the very south of the Côte de Beaune, meaning that their wine rarely has the depth and sophistication achieved by some of the limestone hills and cooler weather of the more northerly appellations. Nonetheless, good weather conditions and above-average soil means that good, if not excellent, wine can be made.
- Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir does not do well in even slightly warmer climates, so Maranges' Pinot is in danger of being somewhat "baked"; after all, it is practically the most southerly appellation on the Côte d'Or. But from the good producers, Maranges Pinot can be an enjoyable, if not extremely approachable, style. Age opens up the flavors and makes the wine more accessible; a number of these wines can last 10 years or more.
- Chardonnay: Quality, not quantity, is the motto for Chardonnay in Maranges. Peach-flavored, somewhat exotically tinged Chardonnay is made here in very low amounts, leading to the unfortunate fact that it is very difficult to find and procure.
Here are three good producers for Maranges, including one producer of Chardonnay-based white wine. The wines are discussed under subregions below.
- Domaine Bernard Bachelet et Fils
- Domaine Bachelet Monnot
- Clos de la Boutière
- Clos de la Fussière
- Le Clos de Loyères: The home of Girardin's Maranges, which is probably the best red cuvée in the village.
- Le Clos des Rois
- Les Clos Roussots
- La Croix aux Moines
- La Fussière: This Premier Cru hosts Bachelet Monnot's leading Chardonnay as well as a host of other good reds. The Bachelet Monnot is refreshing, with good peachy flavors and good balance, even if it may lack phenomenal sophistication.