Burgundy addiction is a tough game. Pinot Noir is known as the “heart break” grape for good reason: susceptible to almost every viticulture hazard, it’s a pain to grow, and once you harvest it, it’s a pain to make into wine. Conscientious vignerons spend a lot of time in the vineyard ensuring the health of their grapes and the quality of their wines. Of course, the results can be glorious, but more often than not, they can also be prohibitively expensive. So for Burgundy lovers like us, the warmer, sunnier regions in southern Burgundy - the Maconnaise and Cote Chalonnaise - are our go-to source for delicious white and red Burgundy that won’t break the bank.
One of the most impressive producers in the south is young Vincent Dureuil-Janthial. A Cote Chalonnaise native, he farms 17 hectares of vines, mostly in Rully but also as far away as Nuits-St-Georges and Puligny-Montrachet in the prestigious Cote d’Or. He is quintessentially Burgundian in his approach: long days in the vineyards where he tends every vine by hand (so he can be hands-off in the winery) letting each plot and vineyard site express itself without intervention. One of the only winemakers who tends his own vines in Rully, Vincent utilizes entirely organic viticulture and refrains from using any herbicides. His family has been in Rully for centuries and Vincent’s wines are some of the best in the Chalonnaise, putting to shame many of the more “premier” Domaines farther north.
The greatest testament to Vincent’s dedication to quality is his 2015 Dureuil-Janthial Bourgogne Passetoutgrain, a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Gamay aged entirely in oak, of which 1/3rd is new. It is delicious and affordable, a rarity anywhere in Burgundy. Passetoutgrain which translates to “pass all grapes” is an older style of Burgundy, traditionally a field blend of both white and red varietals vinified together. Here the Gamay adds bright flavors of juicy pomegranate and red currant to the earthy notes of the Pinot Noir while the oak influence is perfectly integrated into the wine’s structure. Authentically Burgundian with loads of pleasing red fruit and floral flavors, the only downside is that not enough producers make entry level cuvees this good. One of our best red Burg’s under $25, this Dureuil Janthial is drinking great now and might be the best Thanksgiving wine we currently have in stock, though it would also impress with traditional French dishes like Coq au Vin or with an aromatic, creamy washed rind cheese like Epoisse.