If you happen to be in Chalon sur Saone, in souther-central Burgundy, make sure not to miss its "Maison des Vins", where you can taste for free ( if you buy just a couple of bottles ) among a wide selection of the region's wines . The Maison des vins is on the first floor of this modern building . If you buy some bottles, you pay the same price for as you would in the estate , and the sommeliers who work there are eager to let you know the wines , and are not pushing you to buy them ( But my advice is : Buy some , you have real bargains, here ) .
They have a list of more than 120 wines , with reds , whites, rosés , and sparkling wines ( crémant de Bourgogne ) . Of course , you will not have a tasting of the 120+ wines, but still of a wide selection of whites and reds . the building is located right near the historical center of the town , and you can easily walk from there , or park in front of it . There is a gastronomic restaurant upstairs . Among the wines featured in this "Maison Des Vins De La Cote Chalonnaise" are the generic "Cote Chalonnaise", as well as the Montagny, Givry, Rully, Mercurey and bubbling crémant wines . I bought once there a "Cote Chalonnaise" red wine ( wich was nice when I tasted it ) that turned out after a year or two in my cellar to be a great wine when we had it for dinner one day . And the good side of these Cotes Chalonnaise wines is that while they don't have the prestige of the neighbouring Mercureys , yet , they come from very similar terroirs , and can be, with the right vinification, very nice wines at a much lower price .
This time, I was In Chalon sur Saone for family reasons , and like usual , I never miss the occasion to visit this Maison des Vins . Having come in Chalon alone on motorcycle, I could'nt buy a lot of bottles , but still managed to buy a few, to bring back home . I'll take the risk with the vibrations, I'm sure the wine will stand the trip . I'll try whites only this time, I feel like it pairs better with the hot weather outside :
__1 First wine I taste is : Bouzeron Aligoté 2002 Domaine Chanzy, "Clos de la Fortune" . The only communal Appellation in France with only Aligoté variety. Less dry than the generic Bourgogne Aligoté . Got a gold medal in Macon . 6,8 Euro .
__2 Rully Chantefluté 2001, Domaine de L'Ecette, by Jean & Vincent Daux . Nose : More floral . Hazel aromas with a few years, white flowers . Nice wine . 7,8 Euro .
__3 Montagny 1er Cru 2002Domaine J-P Berthenet . Nice mouth . Must be nice with foie gras, lobsters . More mineral . Can wait another 5 to 8 years . Rich in the mouth . Some fruits, and flowers , but mineral side very present . 7,6 Euro .
Phone : 33 (0)3 85 41 64 00
Fax : 33 (0)3 85 41 99 83
Open everyday except sunday 9am-7pm .