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Snooth User: Mary John Baumann, DWS

Irancy...A rare and elegant Bourgogne Rouge

Posted by Mary John Baumann, DWS, Feb 21, 2016.

Situated as far north as Pinot Noir is cultivated in Bourgogne, Irancy is a little known treasure representing tremendous value. Situated in the Grand Auxerrois region, Irancy lies on the right bank of the Yonne river, a short drive southwest of Chablis. Here, red wines are produced exclusively.

The same Kimmeridgean marl and brown limestone soils found in Chablis enable Pinot Noir to flourish, producing light to medium bodied, elegant red wines. In addition, the rare Cesar grape may be used up to ten percent in Irancy. Cesar is a  highly phenolic grape with firm tannins and strapping acidity, which lend color, body and structure to Irancy, Its origins date back to the Roman Legions, and the high acid and tannins certainly echo an Italian red variety.

Solid and charming, Irancy pairs beautifully with strong meaty cuisine. Barbecued meat, pates and terrines marry very well, as do the local cheeses, Chaource, Epoisses and Camembert. 

My visit in September 2015 included a visit to top Irancy producer Domaine Christophe Ferrari. Two days prior to our visit, Chablis and the Yonne were struck by damaging hail, thus harvest was moved forward to salvage a large portion of the fruit. In addition to enjoying a snack in the vineyard with the harvesters, I was able to taste through a series of Ferrari's wines, all of which show tremendous quality and exceptional value.

Irancy 2013: Pale ruby color with bright ripe morello cherry notes, intense rose and red floral notes as well as a lively spicy, earthy finish.

Irancy Les Mazelots 2013: Bright, lifted red fruit, hints of black pepper and elegantly perfumed rose notes, This is a top cuve with a long, concentrated earthy finish. Very generous and highly recommended.

Irancy Le Paradis 2012: Earthy liquorice notes harmonize with ripe black cherry. The addition of five percent Cesar lend a firm structure of mouth watering acidity and fine ripe tannins. 




Reply by JonDerry, Feb 21, 2016.

Cool subject, an under the radar area in Burgundy!

I'll be trying my first soon and return.

Reply by duncan 906, Feb 21, 2016.

I had an Irancy from Domaine Colinot last year which I liked. Irancy only got AOC status in 1999 and before that pinot noir/cesar wines from this northern Burgundy enclave were sold under the general Bourgogne appellation. I once had a wine called 'Cuvee de Cesar  Simonnet-Febrve-Chablis ' from the 1996 vintage. It is the only bottle of red wine I have ever seen with the word 'Chablis' on it

Reply by Really Big Al, Feb 21, 2016.

So we are talking here about wines within a reasonable cost.  I wonder if I could find a bottle locally?  I would certainly like to try one.

Reply by GregT, Feb 22, 2016.

Al - they're not all that expensive. You could find them in NYC, usually under $40 and sometimes a lot less. Langdon Shiverick and a few others imported some. You get what's kind of a village-level Pinot Noir. You like Silver Oak Napa. These aren't anything remotely similar.

As to whether you seek them out, that's up to you. Having tried a few, I guess there's a lot of good wine around. 

Reply by duncan 906, Feb 22, 2016.

Irancy is a fairly rare wine here in the UK but it is not particularly expensive for a Burgundy. I got my bottle from a wine merchant in Sussex [ ] for £14.

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