Maison de la Chapelle -- 2017 Irancy  -- Burgundy, France

Maison de la Chapelle -- 2017 Irancy -- Burgundy, France

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There is still great value to be found in Burgundy if one explores beyond the famous villages. The village of Irancy lies 15 minutes Southwest of Chablis and is one of the most Northern regions in France to grow red grapes for still wines. Viticulture has been practiced there since the 11th century, but due to difficulties peculiar to the region's soils, its recovery from the Phylloxera infestation that wiped out the vineyards of France in the late 1800s was slow. Then the wars further forestalled recovery such that the region was not given its own village appellation status until 1998 (prior to that the reds were just Bourgogne rouge, or used in blends by producers outside the region). Its vineyards were later named a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site in 2015. The soils here are the same as in Chablis, Sancerre and Champagne: a mixture of clay and limestone referred to as Kimmeridgian, but unlike those famous regions, its main wine is still red pinot noir. Those chalky soils give distinctive minerality to the wines produced from it, and with a warming climate, these far Northern Pinot Noirs have shed their rusticity. Gregory and Delphine Viennois are a husband-wife winemaking team who were raised in Burgundy and who have worked at many distinguished wineries in the region and the world. Gregory is currently the technical director at Domaine Laroche, in Chablis, while they grow their own domain. 10% of the grapes were left whole-bunch during the wild fermentation and aging of the organically grown grapes took place in older barrels.