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Profile: Domaine Contat-Grangé (Maranges)

contat-grangéThe roots of this domaine start with an owner of vines in Cheilly – he had vines in Puligny too, but decided to swap these for more vines in Cheilly – because, of-course, Puligny was too far away! Isn’t life funny!

Today’s owners are Yvon and Chantal Contat-Grangé who came to the domaine in 1982. The domaine covers 6.5 hectares – one-third chardonnay, two-thirds pinot noir – which produces eleven cuvées. It is worked by nine vignerons on a fermage basis, who in 2008 started the process for ‘Bio’ – ECOCERT certification duly arriving in 2011. But this is no fad, Yvon and Chantal had an approach of ‘lutte integrée’ since 1987 – i.e. avoiding synthetically derived treatments.

The domaine’s cuvées:

  • Bourgogne rouge, Bourgogne aligoté, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune rouge and blanc
  • Santenay rouge and blanc, Maranges rouge and blanc
  • Maranges 1er Crus La Fussière, Les Clos Roussots, Le Clos des Loyères (all rouge)

The soil is ploughed with hoeing between the vines. Normally the vines are pruned to offer just six potential bunches of fruit but there’s also de-budding in the spring too.

The grapes are manually harvested and triaged at the vines. There could be a few whole clusters retained in the fermentation, but generally the fruit is destemmed. The fermentation take around three weeks – mediated by the local yeast populations – and they usually choose to do very little pigeage. You can certainly note the modest colours of the wines.

The wines…

contat-grange

I tasted a selection of the domaine’s wines with Chantal Contat-Grangé, 30th Nov.2012 in Dezizes.

The 2011 whites were already bottled, the reds were only just assembled – so we tasted (some) 2010 reds instead. I’d heard many good things about the wines from this domaine (hence the visit!) but sometimes wines don’t meet expectations – maybe it was a root day – anyway, this was just such a case.

2011 Contat-Grangé, Maranges Blanc
The nose shows some high tones and a few herbs too but generally it’s rather tight. Round, relatively understated acidity, though probably there’s enough. The fruit has quite a bright presentation. Quite nice.

2011 Contat-Grangé, Santenay Blanc
This offers a little reduction as the main theme – at least to start with. As it lifts, there are sweet herbs and something more mineral. Overall this has a good balance and a decent length of finish. Okay.

2010 Contat-Grangé, Maranges
Completely destemmed.
Here there is some very pretty red fruit indeed – but it seems to be ‘enhanced’ by something underneath that may be volatile. A good depth of dark-red flavour and a mineral hint of salt.

2010 Contat-Grangé, Maranges 1er Fussière
Lively high-toned red fruit on the nose – again with a very pretty dimension that seems ‘pushed’ by something volatile. In the mouth this is much more structured and more mineral (there’s no new oak here) – it’s not showing a friendly side today – a wine to wait for.

2010 Contat-Grangé, Maranges 1er Les Clos Roussots
Vines planted in 1992.
High-toned, pretty, individual red fruits – this is fine. Riper, sweetness from red fruit. This is both nicely structured, rounder and fuller – decent mineral length too. Easily the best of these reds and one I can recommend.

Domaine Contat-Grangé
Grande Rue
71150 Dezize-lès-Maranges
Tel. +33 (0)3 85 91 15 87
www.contat-grange.com

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