Red: its bright ruby colour is neither too light nor too dark. The bouquet, too, is well-balanced between rich aromas of small black fruits (blackcurant, blackberry, bilberry…) and flower scents (peony). In the mouth, the attack is refined and supple, measured, meaty and pleasing. When young, there may be a touch of astringency but its tannins soon soften and its texture becomes velvety and it develops musky notes, as well as those of leather and spices. White: the eye is caught by its pale straw colour and crystal clarity, matching its aromas of fresh almond and apple, to which are added biscuity and mineral (gunflint) notes. It tickles the palate in an agreeable fashion – sprightly when young, fuller and meatier with age, but always with good aromatic persistence.
Wine Steward’s Tip
Red: its velvety and well-moderated tannins make Auxey-Duresses an ideal partner for delicate or white meats. Its supple attack and its notes of red and black fruits give it a wide range. Its charm shines when paired with cold cuts, roasts of pork or veal, kebabs, rabbit, pasta dishes with herbs, and chicken risottos. Grilled fish also succumbs to its allure. Serving temperature: 15 to 16°C. White: likeable and lively, its fruit retains its fullness through a long finish and for this reason it goes well with prawns and fish in spicy sauces, as well as ratatouille and cooked shellfish. It can likewise be paired with cheeses of the Gruyère family, blue cheeses, and certain types of goat’s cheese. Serving temperature: 12 to 14°C.
Auxey-Duresses (pronounced “Aussey”) stands at the entrance to a valley which runs from the Côte de Beaune into the Hautes Côtes, following the road that leads from Beaune to Autun amongst hump-backed hillsides. Together with its hamlets of Petit-Auxey and Mélian, Auxey-Duresses is incontestably one of Bourgogne’s Celtic and Gallo-Roman wine-growing districts. It was formerly an outlying property of the abbey of Cluny, producing both grains and grapes. The corn-mills have now gone but there are still wine presses. Auxey-Duresses was granted its AOC status in 1937.
Nature determines which plots suit the white wines and which the reds. On the hill of Bourdon, geologically an extension of Volnay and Monthélie, the soil is a pebbly marl-limestone mix which gives vigour to the east/south-east facing vineyard of Duresses. The Climat “Climat du Val”, on the other hand, faces south and has very limey soil, while in La Chapelle marl predominates over limestone. And on the hill of Mélian, the fine-textured soil prefigures that of nearby Meursault and Puligny, the paradise of white wines.