50 shades of grape – Part 2: Marc and Fine de Bourgogne

This second chapter focuses on Burgundy where we met five producers who contribute to the development and the renewal of these two beautiful spirits.

After bringing you to Alsace, Monsieur Baco is today giving you a tour of one of the most prestigious wine regions in France: Burgundy. Like elsewhere in France, the distillation of Marc (pomace spirit) and Fine (brandy) de Bourgogne is not new and is at the dawn of a new chapter thanks to the recent creation of two designations of origins and new producers hitting the market. Speaking of which, Monsieur Baco will present you five producers who show how diverse these local spirits can be. 


Distillation of Marc de Bourgogne dates to the end of the 17th century and the quality of Burgundy pomace spirits is praised since the 18th century.  

Unlike Marc which is made from a material that has no value anymore, and can thus be distilled in quantity, Fine (pronounce “f-in”) is competing with the popularity of Burgundy wines. That is the reason why the production of wine-based spirits in Burgundy has always been lower than the production of Marc. As a matter of fact, a winemaker in Burgundy will always earn way more money bottling and selling their wines rather than distilling and selling the resulting spirits.

Marc de Bourgogne had reached a certain popularity in the first half of the 20th century thanks to the Universal Exhibition in 1900 and several art pieces mentioning them (a painting from Picasso, novels from Pierre Benoit and Henri Queffélec…).

The Designations of Origin

Although Marc and Fine de Bourgogne are deeply rooted in the terroir of Burgundy, producers had to wait until 2011 to get a proper designation of origin. The specifications are quite similar for both spirits:

  • Geographic area: 388 villages spread across Côte-d’Or, Rhône, Saône-et-Loire and Yonne departments. 
  • Grapes: aligoté B, césar N, chardonnay B, gamay N, gamay de Bouze N, gamay de Chaudenay N, melon B, pinot noir N, pinot gris G, pinot blanc B, sacy B, sauvignon B, tressot R.
  • The wines containing fine lees destined to be distilled cannot exceed 3% of the total volume produced on one estate. 
  • Distillation:
    • Pomace must be distilled no later than the 31th of March following the harvest. Pomace that are not destemmed must be distilled within 60 days after being placed in containers.
    • Distillation is operated discontinuously. 
    • The pot still must be made of 3 pots maximum (630 liters max) and a series of 3 columns for concentration maximum (no more than 7 plates).
    • Heating can be operated with fire or vapor injection. 
    • The ABV of the new make spirit must not exceed 72°.
  • Aging process:
    • The temperature and humidity of the cellars must be natural and cannot be controlled electronically. 
    • Barrels must be in oak and must not exceed 60 hectoliters. 
    • Aging lengths:
      • Minimum 2 years for a Marc and 3 years for a Fine.
      • ‘Vieux/Vieille’ = minimum 3 years for a Marc and 4 years for a Fine. 
      • ‘Très vieux/Très vieille’ = 6 years minimum.
      • ‘Hors d’Âge’ = 10 years minimum. 
  • Labelling: the name of a grape or a specific geographic area cannot be mentioned next to the designation of origin. 
  • Coloring and sweetening is allowed. 
  • Spirits must be bottled at 40° ABV minimum. 

A panorama of styles and producers

Spirits presented beneath were tasted two by two in the same glasses in a one-hour timeframe. Samples were kindly offered by producers.

Maison Jacoulot: the staple.


Maison Jacoulot may not be the oldest spirits brand in Burgundy (Briottet and Joseph Cartron win that battle) but it sure is the oldest brand specialized in Marc and Fine de Bourgogne

Vincent Jacoulot, the son of hostel owners in Romanèche-Thorins went to Paris to become a cooper because the familly’s business was declining. There, he discovers that people liked spirits very much. He then decided to come back to Burgundy and launch a distillery in 1891, setting himself apart distilling only pinot noir. The distillery remained in the Jacoulot family’s hands for about a century, changed hands once before family Vançon took over the distillery in 2013. As of today, Maison Jacoulot is still a family-owned business employing 7 people (including 3 Vançon family members).

Technical specifications

  • Distillation: Maison Jacoulot collaborates with travelling distillers. An in-house pot still is currently being installed in order to increase production. 
  • Aging process: The main strength of Maison Jacoulot lies in their skills in aging spirits. Thanks to their history, the brand has 4 cellars with different levels of humidity and ex-wine barrels of various sizes (228L, 400L, 500L, 700L, 2500L, 5000L as well as 10 000L pre-blending century-old barrels). The barrels from Les Hospices de Beaune are new and the bottles filled from them are the only vintages.
  • Spirits are bottled without coloring nor sweetening. 

The product range 

  • Marc and Fine de Bourgogne: l’Authentique (7 years old minimum), 15 years old, 20 years old, 25 years old and a vintage Marc from the Hospices de Beaune.
  • On top of Marcs and Fines de Bourgogne, Maison Jacoulot produces a wide range of liqueurs and creams, some fruit spirits.
  • Several whiskies from Tullibardine, with a 2 year finish in ex-Marc de Bourgogne casks. 
  • A rum from La Réunion (Savannah), transported by boat with a 12 month finish in ex-Fine de Bourgogne casks as well as a rum infused with blackcurrant. 
  • Other finishes with foreign casks are also in progress.

Marc and Fine de Bourgogne represent 50% of sales and 30% of sales are made overseas (mainly in the USA and Asia). 

Maison Jacoulot is part of the Cartel, an association of independent distillers including Darroze (armagnac), Drouet (cognac), Michel Couvreur (whisky), Dupont (calvados), Longueteau (rhum agricole) and Metté.You can purchase spirits from Maison Jacoulot directly at their cellar (they will greet you with open arms), on their website, or at one of the many sellers listed on the latter. 

Tasting notes

L’Authentique Fine (Fine de Bourgogne, minimum 7 years old), 45° (46,15€ for 70cl)

L'Authentique Fine de Bourgogne, Maison Jacoulot
  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: discrete at first, but more assertive with time. The nose is vinous with notes of fruits (vineyard peach, cherries), marzipan, caramel, milk chocolate filled with raisins and a touch of hazelnuts (‘praliné’). With time, spices show up with notes of vanilla and ginger. Fruits are more ‘gourmand’ (raspberry jam, candied fruit cake). A touch of sandal wood on the background. 
  • Mouth: the attack is mellow, with caramel, cooked plums, tobacco, and spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla) on the mid-palate. The finish is rather long on prunes, badian, caraway and tobacco. 

L’Authentique Marc (Marc de Bourgogne, minimum 7 years old), 45° (42,55€ for 70cl)

L'Authentique Marc de Bourgogne, Maison Jacoulot
  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: quite vinous. Opens with notes of almond, hazelnut, and fresh walnut with a fresh layer of eucalyptus, pine resin, humus. On the background: notes of cherry brandy, long pepper, tobacco, and encaustic.
  • Mouth: the attack is mellow. The mid-palate is vinous with notes of chourchkhela (a Georgian sweet made of nuts covered by a grape resin), gum, liquorice, blackberry jam). The finish is of medium legth with notes of tobacco, liquorice, caraway, and dried fruits. 

Fine de Bourgogne ‘Les Grands Âges’, 15 years old, 43° (87€ for 70cl)

Fine de Bourgogne, 'Les Grands Âges', 15 years old, Maison Jacoulot
  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: quite ‘gourmand’ with sweet notes of pastries (fudge, mirabelles tart, brown sugar). On the second ground: fresher notes of verbena. With time, the fruity notes assert (red plums, baked peaches) as well as spice (cinnamon) and nose gets more vinous. A touch of dried fruits (hazelnuts, ‘praliné’) and milk chocolate on the background.
  • Mouth: the attack is mild , the mid-palate is vinous and has notes of cherry brandy and caraway. The finish is of medium length with notes of white pepper and licorice. 

Marc de Bourgogne ‘Les Grands Âges’ 15 years old, 43° (78,50€ for 70cl)

Marc de Bourgogne, 'Les Grands Âges', 15 years old, Maison Jacoulot
  • Colour: gold
  • Nose: quite fresh (humus, pine resin) with notes of marzipan, polished furniture, cooked red plums, fresh walnut, churchkhela. Spices assert with time (green cardamom, cinnamon, caraway). 
  • Mouth: the attack is rather soft and fresh with pine gum, fresh hazelnuts, caraway and liquorice. The finish is medium-long on black pepper. 

Marc de Bourgogne, Cuvée des Hospices de Beaune 2007, 43° (coming soon)

  • Colour: amber.
  • Nose: quite spicy (allspice), toasted bread, rye bread, touch of almond. The woody tones are well integrated. Fruit is less forthcoming than previous bottlings (candied fruits, dried apricots). With time, some bee wax scent come forward and almond gets stronger. Reminds of rye whiskies at first. 
  • Mouth: the attack is straightforward. The mid-palate is vinous with notes of ripe and candied fruits. Mouth is rather dry which brings some tension and balance. A layer of wood envelops the fruitier notes. Some spicy notes (ginger, gingerbread) can be felt at the background. The finish is rather long on tobacco and soft spices. 

Comments: spirits from Maison Jacoulot are round and plump. A clever use of barrels and the mastery of aging bring a great deal of complexity to their Marcs and Fines de Bourgogne. These spirits represent well their respective designation of origin and give immediate pleasure

Domaine Guillemot-Michel: chardonnay

Domaine Guillemot-Michel is the last winemaker-distiller in Burgundy. Pierrette Michel and her husband Marc Guillemot took over the little estate of 6,5 hectares from her parents in 1982. The estates is located on the climat of Quintaine within the Viré-Clessé geographic area. The chardonnay grapevines are about 55-60 years old and are certified biodynamic by Demeter since 1992. The estate is today managed by Sophie, Pierrette and Marc’s daughter together with her husband Gautier. Sophie herself came with the idea of distilling at the estate. Unlike many other producers, Domaine Guillemot-Michel distillates only chardonnay which made them an unmissable step in our journey. On top of the Marc and Fine de Bourgogne, Domaine Guillemot-Michel also produces a gin called ‘Djinn’ and is about to launch new spirits soon.

Technical specifications

  • Pomace & lees: Chardonnay pomace is destemmed and fermented in 200-250 litters casks. Concerning Fine, the fine lees containing natural yeast are separated from the clear wine and ready to be distilled. 
  • Distillation: Sophie bought 2 ‘bourguignons’ pot stills from a travelling distiller. The pot stills are named Charly and Gédéon (respectively from 1932 and 1952) and are hybrid pot stills because they are composed of a pot and a column. The new-make Marcs are about 55-60° and the Fines are above 60°. 
  • Aging process: Spirits are aged during 3-4 years in feuillettes (114 liters bourguignons barrels) for the Fines and in pièces (228 liters) for the Marcs. These casks had previously contained white wine during 10 years 
  • No colouring nor sweetening are added. 

Each year, only 1 feuillette of Fine de Bourgogne and 3-4 pièces of Marc de Bourgogne are filled. The production is therefore very limited.

Tasting notes

Fine de Bourgogne 2015, 42° (69€ for 50cl)

Fine de Bourgogne, Domaine Guillemot-Michel.
  • Colour: hay.
  • Nose: quite refined, very fresh and floral (lily, white flowers). The fruit notes are light (freshly cut apple, a touch of white peach and lichee). With time, notes of apple cider, lemon confit and bergamot develop. On the second ground, some herbaceous tones can be felt (haystack, fennel seeds) completed by notes of vanilla, macadamia and coconut brought by the barrels on the background. A certain chalky minerality underpins these different layers. 
  • Mouth: the attack is rather smooth at first before getting warmer. The mid-palate is rather sharp, marked by the same chalky minerality along with notes of bergamot and touches of vanilla and coconut. Very light musky tones at the background. The finish is long and warm on white pepper and chamomile. 

Esprit de Chardonnay (Marc de Bourgogne) 2016, 42° (45€ for 50cl)

Marc de Bourgogne, Domaine Guillemot-Michel.
  • Colour: hay.
  • Nose: opens on rustic notes of old barn, polished furniture, and fresh walnut. With time, nose gets fresher. Fruity notes of farmer’s cider, peaches in syrup, bitter almond and baked apples appear along with a hint of cinnamon. A vegetal layer of cut grass and humus underpins the nose. Time brings more refinement with notes of linden, golden apple, and fresh almonds. 
  • Mouth: the attack is soft. The mid-palate is rich and spicy with notes of marzipan, cloves, nutmeg, and baked apple. The finish is lingering with notes of caraway and juniper. 

Comments: here are two vibrant spirits. The Fine is sharp, taut, and refined whereas the Marc, more rustic at first, develops complexity with time. Definitely worth the discovery.

L’Alambic Bourguignon (Sab’s Spirits): the innovator. 

The other staple in the local spirits landscape is obviously L’Alambic Bourguignon, formerly known as Distillerie Pigneret which Mathieu Sabbagh took over in 2018. This travelling distiller set in Beaune distillates on the behalf of more than 200 winemakers. Some of the spirits presented in this article even come from L’Alambic Bourguignon. 


In 1941, Henri Vincent Pigneret, third generation of winemakers bought a pot still to expand its business core. Distillation endured and flourished thanks to the next two generations (Henri Georges Pigneret and his sons Eric and Joseph Pigneret who made distillation a standalone business) before it was sold to Mathieu Sabbagh, former International Director at Pernod Ricard. By taking over the distillery under the name L’Alambic Bourguignon and creating a range of Spirits called Sab’s, Mathieu’s aim is to rebuild the reputation of Marc and Fine de Bourgogne which have been forgotten in the last 70 years. With his production partner Paul de Vaucorbeil, he wants to break the clichés and make easy-to-drink spirits.

Technical information

  • Pomace and lees: pinot noir pomace is used to produce Marc and Fines are made from pinot noir and chardonnay lees.
  • Distillation: Mathieu can rely on a modern pot still made by German still maker Müller. The still is made of 3 pots, a 5-plate column and a condenser (heat exchanger). The ABV of the new make spirit is around 72°. Distillation is operated with vapor injection which gives more delicate spirits. The tails from the first pot go into the second and the tails from the second pot go into the third before entering the column (used to concentrate the ABV and purify the spirit). 
  • Aging process: Marc and Fine are respectively aged for a minimum of 7 and 8 years in ex-wine casks before a 6-month finish in ex-cognac casks. In order to shake the dusty image of Marc and Fine and appeal to younger customers, special editions are released each year with finishes in ex-whisky casks (ex-Islay, ex-Speyside…) and bottled at cask strength. L’Alambic Bourguignon also owns a stock of old demijohns (some conatinaing spirits distilled during World War 1). 

On top of Marcs and Fines, Sab’s Spirits includes several gins with original finishes (ex-Puligny casks) or original making process (pomace infusion). A beautiful pear spirit also completes the range. You can purchase the spirits on the online store.

L'Alambic Bourguignon's Müller pot still.
The Müller pot still

Tasting notes

La Fine (très vieille Fine de Bourgogne), 46° (59€ for 50cl) 

La Fine (Très vieille Fine de Bourgogne), Sab's Spirits, L'Alambic Bourguignon.
  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: rather discrete and floral with notes of haystack, yellow flowers (dandylions, chamomile). Some spices (yellow curry, nutmeg) as well as a touch of acacia honey can be felt in the background. 
  • Mouth: the attack is mild. The mid-palate is marked by the same spiciness and some toasted nuts. The finish is rather short with notes of baked apple and hot curry.

Le Marc (très vieux Marc de Bourgogne), 46° (49€ for 50cl)

Le Marc (Très vieux Marc de Bourgogne), Sab's Spirits, L'Alambic Bourguignon.
  • Colour: gold.
  • Nose: rather fresh with an elegant vegetal layer. There are notes of fresh and ripe grape and lichee. A fresh, almost medicinal whiff rises with time (eucalyptus, mint). A hint of bee wax and pâte de fruits as well as some floral tones (geranium, a hint of honeysuckle) can be felt in the background. 
  • Mouth: the attack is mild. The mid-palate is rather thin on fresh grape, violet and pine. The finish has a medium length with notes of violet and ripe grape. 

Marc Special Cask 1st fill Peated Islay Bourbon Finish, 51° (out of stock) 

Sab’s, Marc Special Cask 1st fill Peated Islay Bourbon Finish
  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: opens on seaweed and cold ashes before giving way to fruit (ripe grape, plum, apple). Bee wax again with a touch of marzipan as well as some notes of sea spray. Some malty notes appear with time and freshness develops with notes of eucalyptus and camphor. 
  • Mouth: the attack is straightforward and vinous. The mid-palate is dry and marked by notes of malt and ash and hint of lemon and iodine. The finish is rather long on ash, ripe grape and licorice. 

Fine Special Cask 1st fill Feated Islay Bourbon Cask Finish, 56° (out of stock)

Sab’s, Fine Special Cask 1st fill Peated Islay Bourbon Finish
  • Colour: amber. 
  • Nose: quite discrete. Opens on light empyreumatic notes of wood fire and dark chocolate. Sharp fruit notes of lemon zest, fresh apple and cooked plums can be felt. On the second ground, the nose is fresher with sea spray, Sichuan pepper, and kefir leaves. With time, notes of long pepper and cold ash appear.
  • Mouth: the attack is straightforward. The mid-palate is herbaceous (tarragon, Sichuan pepper) along with notes of pears and cocoa. The finish is quite long on ashes, dry fruits and cocoa. 

Comments: Mathieu Sabbagh make modern spirits. The precision of the Marc is particularly impressive while the Fine is a bit shier. The special releases are a clever way to confront the aromas of two different spirits and appeal to young consumers. If the Peated Marc keeps its identity on the nose, it gives way to the malt in the mouth. The Peated Fine shows the same shyness as the original edition but offers an beautiful freshness and an interesting balance. 

Domaine Boris Champy: the irreducible. 

The estate was created in 1984 by Didier Montchovet. This makes it the oldest estate in Burgundy to be certified biodynamic by Demeter. Boris Champy took over the estate in 2019 which as of today, spans across 12 hectars (Hautes-Côtes de Beaune with the Montagne de Cras, le Clou and En Bignon parcels; Pommard En Boeuf and Beaune 1er cru: Aux Coucherias and Les Vignes Franches parcels). On top the wines made from the estate, Boris Champy also owns a trade business bottling organic wine under the name of ‘Le Petit Aigle’. 

By taking over the estate, Boris Champy also bought the stocks of Marc and Fine de Bourgogne of Didier Montchovet. With less than 10 casks, this is a very confidential production. Spirits were distilled by Distillerie Pigneret (and are now distilled by L’Alambic Bourguignon). 

Helped by Jean-Arnaud Frantzen from Michel Couvreur whiskies (located near-by), Boris Champy has bottled a unique Marc made from pinot noir with a great majority of Marc distilled in 2003 and a bit of Marc distilled in 2014. This is therefore a ‘très vieux’ Marc bottle at cask strength (46,9°). Sleeping stocks include a Marc distilled in 2020 from chardonnay and aligoté pomace as well as Fines distilled 2018 and 2000. The latter is currently aging in 2 casks (1 new cask of 32 liters and 1 cask of 60 liters partly made with ex-cognac barrels staves). 

Giving the current stock, production is very limited and Boris Champy would like to fill 1 or 2 casks a year. 

The Très Vieux Marc de Bourgogne Ultreîa can be purchased directly at the estate in Nantoux (where you will experience the humour and the kindness of Boris) or on the Grands Bourgogne website. 

Boris Champy

Tasting Notes

Très Vieux Marc de Bourgogne ‘Ultreîa’, 46,9° (about 85€ for 50cl)

Très Vieux Marc de Bourgogne 'Ultreîa, Domaine Boris Champy.
  • Colour: copper.
  • Nose: opens on a certain rusticity with rancio and a touch of leather. The alcohol gradually lessens and gives way to fruit with notes of ripe plums, fresh grape, candied fruits as well as spices (vanilla). Pastry notes appear with time (‘pain aux raisins’, cherry clafoutis, brown sugar, candied fruits cake, dark chocolate fille with candied orange peels a.k.a. ‘orangettes’). There are fresher notes on the background with verbena and just a hint of rose. 
  • Mouth: the attack is straight forward, matter is dense and a bit rough. A certain minerality and woody tones are wrapped by the rancio (dates, toasted hazelnuts). The palate remains mouthwatering until the finish which is quite long with notes of prunes and surprisingly fresh (touch on mint that lingers). 

Comments: a bit rustic in the first place, this Marc de Bourgogne needs to breath for a while before unveiling its depth and complexity. This is a mature and distinguished spirit that can compete with an old Armagnac. We cannot wait to taste the future bottlings of spirits distilled by L’Alambic Bourguignon. 

Distillerie Mazy: the author.


Founded in 2016 by Julie Ay in the peaceful village of Marsannay up north in Côte-de-Nuits, Distillerie Mazy is part of this wave of new distillers who aims at modernizing (without betraying) these iconic spirits. Daughter-in-law of winemakers in Gigondas (Domaine Raspail-Ay in the Rhône valley), Julie Ay studied biochemistry. When she started her career in the protection of natural areas at Gevrey, she became familiar with the terroir of Burgundy. The discovery of an old book describing how to make a special liqueur in her in-laws’ library drove her into recreating it. This is how she jumped into the wonderful world of spirits. The Raspail liqueur and verbena liqueur were her first creations. Thereafter, because she lives in one of the most prestigious wine region and saw that large quantities of pomace were simply thrown out, she decided to produce Marc and Fine de Bourgogne to complete the circle and avoid wastes. 

Technical information

  • Raw materials: the pomace is made out of destemmed pinot noir from Côte-de-Nuits while Fines are made from lees of chardonnay and pinot noir from Côte-de-Nuits as well. The pomace is collected straight after pressing to ensure that it is distilled at its freshest. 
  • Distillation:
    • Distillation is run by three pot stills. The main stars of the distillery are Joséphine and Gerard, two gaz heated pot stills made in 1925 and 1930. Joséphine has a load capacity of 100 liters, a plate condenser and is the go-to pot still for the second distillation as it distillates very slowly. Gerard has a load capacity of 181 liters and a coil condenser. On top of these two pot stills, Julie sometimes uses old Lambert, a wood heated pot still from 1900 (or before) with a column when she needs more fire power. 
    • Marcs are about 65° ABV after distillation while Fines are about 70° after distillation. The cuts are precise and strict. 
  • Aging process: in a charming vaulted little cellar, Julie patiently ages her spirits in various types of casks. Each climat and vintage are aged separately in casks made by cooper partners (Tonnellerie de l’Atlantique that supplies large grain casks and Rousseau and Montgillard coopers that make casks with specific heating processes). Julie uses casks of various capacity: mainly feuillettes (114 liters) and quarteaux (57 liters) but also ex-cognac casks. The ABV reduction is operated drop by drop over several years. 
Julie AY and her pot stills. Distillerie Mazy.
Julie AY and her pot stills : Joséphine (left) and Gérard (right).

The spirits

  • Liqueurs: as mentioned above, Julie produces one verbena liqueur and the Raspail liqueur made of 10 plants and spices (with a large proportion of Angelica). In both cases, plants are set to macerate in Fine before being distilled a third time and be enriched with a house-made caramel. The verbena is aged in stainless steel containers while the Raspail liqueur in put in a solera. 
  • Fruit spirits: Julie also produces a red Williams pear spirit aged 4 years in demijohns and a ‘reine-claude dorée’ (variety of plum) aged 4 years into ex-Beaumes-de-Venise casks. Less than 200 bottles are filled each year. 
  • Marc and Fine de Bourgogne: Regarding Marcs, several references are produced for the same vintage whereas two Fines are produced each year: La Divine (blend of premiers crus) and La Grande (blend of grands crus). Julie blends her spirits by level of appellation, she does not mix premiers crus with grands crus.
Distillerie Mazy's spirits.
Distillerie Mazy’s spirits.

Each product comes with a detailed spec sheet indicating the exact proportion of plants, the estates that supply the raw materials, the type of casks…

The list of dealers can be checked out here. You can also directly purchase the spirits by contacting Julie through her website

Tasting notes

Fine de Bourgogne, La Divine, 2018, CN-FB-18, 43,5° (about 38€ for 50cl. Spec sheet) 

  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: quite a refined nose, blending yellow fruits and flowers sprinkled with spices. Notes of reine-claude plums, dandelions, almond cream, soft spices (cinnamon and vanilla), polished wood and honeysuckle. With time, notes of mountain honey and discrete notes of toasted bread appear at the background. 
  • Mouth: the attack is quite soft. On the mid-palate, notes of milk chocolate, fennel seeds, roasted hazelnut, and cardamom. The finish is rather short on soft spices. 

Fine de Bourgogne, La Grande, 2018, GC-FB-18, 44° (about 46€ for 50cl. Spec sheet)

  • Colour: gold.
  • Nose: quite fresh and a bit shy at first. Floral tones (lilac), fruits (roasted peaches) and herbs (verbena) are wrapped in a buttery layer. The buttery scent strengthens with time, hand in hand with the herbaceous notes (vetiver, eucalyptus, juniper). Fruits evolve towards mirabelle plums.
  • Mouth: the attack is soft. The mid-palate is floral and fruity (mirabelle again) with a hint of milk chocolate. The finish is fresh and quite long on lemon verbena and fennel seeds. 

Marc de Marsannay, 2016, MS-AS-16, 44,5° (about 32€ for 50cl. Spec sheet)

  • Colour: gold.
  • Nose: notes of raisins, elderberry, black pepper, poached pear, and a hint of blackberry. The second ground is fresher with notes of flower stems, camphor leaves, eucalyptus and asserts with time. 
  • Mouth: the attack is mild. The mid-palate is marked by notes of raisins, spices (camphor, white pepper, licorice) and elderberry. The finish is of medium length with notes of violet, elderberry and licorice).

Marc de Bourgogne, Le Premier, 2018, PC-MB-18, 45° (about 38€ for 50cl. Spec sheet)

  • Colour: gold.
  • Nose: quite floral like entering a florist’s. Notes of freshly picked flowers, fig tree leaves, wild rose, linden and a touch of humus. The second ground is spicier (saffron, cinnamon, vanilla, hint of camphor). The nose gets sweeter with time (notes of raisins, orgeat).
  • Mouth: the attack is rather soft. The mid-palate is floral and fruity (touch of violet, redberry jam). The finish is medium-long on spice (white pepper, nutmeg). 

Marc de Bourgogne, Le Grand, 2018, GC-MB-18, 46° (about 46€ for 50cl. Spec sheet)

  • Colour: topaz.
  • Nose: quite sharp and woody. Notes of cedar, bergamot zest strike at first followed by notes of apricot, candied lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, bee wax, polished wood, lavender, and thyme. With time, camphor and spices (nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) appear.
  • Mouth: the attack is mild. The mid-palate is fruity (apricot jam) and spicy (caraway, badian, green cardamom, vanilla). The finish is tangy and quite long. 

Comments: here are some very elegant spirits. The nose of La Divine is vibrant and refined, La Grande is beautifully fresh while Le Premier is elegant and Le Grand strikes by its southern accents. Sometimes the finishes lack a bit of extra length, but this young distillery has a lot of potential. All of Julie’s accuracy and passion can be found in her spirits. Great value for the price on top of that.

In a nutshell

Marc de Bourgogne and Fine de Bourgogne are both protected by a designation of origin. Marc is made from pomace while Fine is made from fine wine lees. Although 13 grapes are allowed, only two are currently used (mainly pinot noir and a bit of chardonnay). These spirits must be aged at least 2 years for the Marcs and 3 years for the Fine in oak casks. The majority of the spirits is produced by a handful of travelling distillers while distilleries are scarce. Generally speaking, Marc de Bourgogne has more vegetal tones and notes of walnut, polished wood and humus whereas Fine de Bourgogne is more fruity with pastry notes. Winemakers’ spirits tend to be rougher, spontaneous and vibrant and distillers’ spirits are tamed and sophisticated (none of the two styles is superior to the other). 

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