Irancy, an exceptional red wine in the heart of the Auxerrois
To taste an excellent pinot noir, there is no need to go to the Côte de Beaune or the Côte de Nuits. The Burgundy vineyard is plural and some of its finest wines are produced far from the prestigious route des Grands Crus. This is true of the wines of Irancy, the only red Village appellation in the Yonne department. Indeed, in a department where Chardonnay and the white wines of Chablis largely dominate, Irancy appears as a beautiful exception which can only confirm the rule. Especially since 1998 and their recognition by an AOC, the wines of Irancy do not cease improving. This is an opportunity to treat yourself to a Burgundy Pinot Noir wine and to be surprised by its quality and typicality... and by its price.
General presentation of Irancy
Irancy is a communal appellation of Burgundy. It is produced in the Grand-Auxerrois vineyard, between Auxerre and Chablis, on the right bank of the Yonne. Three villages are included in the appellation area: Irancy mainly, as well as Cravant and Vincelottes. The 315 hectares of vines encircle Irancy in a vast amphitheatre, a natural setting of astonishing beauty that forms a jewel case around one of the most typical villages in the department.
The king grape variety is pinot noir, as in the rest of Burgundy. It is used in the red wines of the Irancy appellation, most often on its own, but it can be accompanied, up to a maximum of 10%, by a grape variety as rare as it is rustic: Caesar. This one would have been brought by the Romans at the time of the conquest of Gaul. It represents only a few hectares of the Irancy vineyard and gives tannic and fruity wines with traditional accents.
The Irancy appellation does not offer a Premier Cru, but a multitude of Climats and estates which, in turn, deliver their own expression of wine. Among the most famous Climats are La Palotte and Les Mazelots, but one can also mention Les Cailles, Veaupessiot, La Bergère or Mouroux.
The AOC Irancy is exclusively for red wines. White and rosé wines are marketed under the regional appellation of Burgundy.
Characteristics of an Irancy
The characteristics of AOC Irancy wines depend above all on their Caesar content, a rustic grape variety that produces tannic and fruity wines. However, these red wines all have a brilliant ruby colour and an aromatic bouquet strongly marked by fruit, starting with Morello cherry and followed by blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry and raspberry. There are also floral notes, notably violet, and spices such as liquorice and pepper. With age, the aromas take on the character of the undergrowth: humus, leather and truffles in particular.
Irancy AOC are full-bodied and rich red wines, both solid and charming. Rich in tannins, their structure is nonetheless firm and velvety. They are very good wines for laying down. They can be enjoyed after 3-4 years, but benefit from a few more years of ageing. The best vintages from the best estates have a longevity of 10-20 years or more.
How to taste an Irancy
For many, the best pairing is an irancy with meurette eggs. In addition, this pinot noir can easily be enjoyed with many main courses: pâté en croûte, meat in sauce, poultry stew, ribs... This red wine from the Auxerrois region also goes well with many cheeses with a strong character: camembert, epoisses, chaource, cantal, soumaintrain...
It is advisable to serve an AOC Irancy at a temperature of between 15 and 18°.