Juicy, “Succulent” 2018 Red Burgundy under $40

Maranges is the Côte d’Or’s forgotten appellation. In the past it was known for its unrefined, tannic wines — Burgundians used to call it “le medecin” (the doctor) because some secretly blended it into thinner Côte d’Or reds to bulk up weak vintages.

But today its reputation needs revision. Advances in winemaking and warmer summers mean that Maranges now produces wines of real character and complexity. They never reach the depth or elegance of reds from Volnay or Pommard, but they offer early enjoyment and pleasant, hearty textures. And Roger Belland’s Maranges 1er cru “Clos Roussot” 2018 is the best Maranges we’ve ever had.

Belland’s 2018 Maranges is, of course, pure Pinot Noir, but it borrows a bit of the nearby Beaujolais’s jubilant spirit — think red Burgundy with the soul of a Cru Beaujolais. The 2018 vintage delivered unprecedented heat and sun in Burgundy, and the resulting wines are full of both ripeness and muscle.

This wine has just arrived, and it’s as good as we found the sample back in June. The nose is cool and dark, with plum and spice in the nose; the mouth is dark, intense, and full, with punchy young tannins and lots of stuffing.

Don’t let the “where’s-that-again?” appellation fool you — this is real, characterful red Burgundy at an attractive price.


Belland Maranges 1er “Clos Roussots” 2018
bottle price: $38

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