Chorey-lès-Beaune: A Banging Burgundy Deal for Beginners and Pinot-philes Alike
If you're new to Red Burgundy it's hard to think of a better village to start with than Chorey-lès-Beaune. The wines are lovely examples of what makes Burgundy Burgundy: airy Pinot Noir with lovely fruit flavors that are nevertheless defined more by their savory side than their fruit.
But Chorey is also a go-to wine for everyday drinking among Burgundy lovers because, unlike most Burgundy villages, it's still full of shockingly good deals from devoted, small-scale growers, like today's beautiful little wine.
Why are they such great deals? Chorey has no Premier Cru vineyards, nevermind Grand Cru. Without 1er Cru or Grand Cru name-recognition, prices naturally stay lower. Also, Chorey doesn't typically give us the kind of blockbuster wines that age for decades and attract attention and big critical scores. They're understated, elegant wines that improve with a few years in the cellar but will never be a top collector's prized possession.
But don't be fooled by the pricing: Chorey is a land of real Burgundian terroir and devoted small-scale growers — folks like Vincent Roy and his sister Claire, who run Domaine Georges Roy. The Roys have lots of old vines. They work traditionally and make their red wines with minimal oak and native yeasts. Their soils are classic limestone and clays (with some iron deposits thrown in, maybe contributing a spice note). Winemakers like the Roys who manage things with a light touch coax very pure Burgundian flavors with a unique personality. For a very fair price you get to see why people have fallen in love with Burgundy throughout the centuries since the monks started working the soils.
Domine Georges Roy's Chorey is a spot-on Côte de Beaune red. It is light but intense and has very pretty fruit notes, but also a savory side with notes of licorice and earth that give it genuine depth. It's not a wine to age for decades. But judging by how it opens up with a few hours of air, revealing ever purer fruit on both the nose and the palate, we're pretty sure that it's only going to get better for at least 5 years. And best of all for ordinary life, it's the kind of wine that pairs perfectly with almost every food under the sun.