Domaine Cottenceau

Buxy | Côte Chalonnaise | Burgundy

The next generation of talent in the Côte Chalonnaise has arrived—and the name that’s causing a serious stir is Maxime Cottenceau.

A native of the village of Buxy, south of Givry, Maxime comes from a long line of growers, yet is the first to bottle wines under the family name. And what a start for a young winemaker, training under one of France’s greatest winemakers and Rully native (and long-time North Berkeley partner), Vincent Dureuil-Janthial!

Maxime tends just a few acres of vines naturally, following the lunar calendar—wines here are textured, supple, complex and expressive. These exemplary wines are a delicious sign of the extraordinary potential of both the appellation of Montagny, and the Côte Chalonnaise overall.


Maxime’s family for years sold their fruit to the local cooperative winery. In 2018, Maxime was able to take some of his family’s land under his own control to farm organically, with the help of his mentor Vincent Dureuil-Janthial. Maxime’s relationship with his family’s Montagny vineyards remains in flux; generational changes within family wineries are seldom easy, yet Maxime’s early successes have assuaged family members’ concerns, and they now are more confident that his vision is indeed one that should be encouraged.

Grape growing here is as natural as possible, and Maxime is seeking organic certification for the vineyards he manages. He uses no chemical inputs and is working to tend his vines as gently as possible. For example, Maxime is experimenting with a practice in which one doesn’t hedge the tops of vines to control growth (rognage, in French) but braids them together (tressage, a practice that Cyprien Arlaud at Domaine Arlaud, one of the Cote d’Or’s leading biodynamic estates and North Berkeley partner, is also exploring). All actions in the vineyard and cellar follow the lunar calendar.

Grapes are harvested by hand in small crates, sorted in the fields and again in the cellar. A slow, gentle press follows; wines are fermented either in stainless steel tank or in French oak barrels, with little to no added sulfites. Aging is long, between 18 to 20 months, in barrel, followed by an additional six months in tank before bottling.

Givry Blanc ‘Champ Pourot’

‘Champ Pourot’ delivers a Burgundian Chardonnay with depth and breadth, rich in yellow fruits and flowers, with a supple, silky center that extends beyond what is already a stellar, long finish. A gorgeous white that punches far above its station.



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Montagny ‘Les Préaux’

Estate vines in ‘Les Préaux’ face east, and are found in the southern part of the appellation, near St.-Vallerin. Soils here are deeper and darker, with more clay than limestone; Maxime explains this gives his wine a more weighty, supple texture. Golden silk in every sip. 



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Montagny ‘Les Dazés’

Estate vines in ‘Les Dazés’ face east, and are found in the southern part of the appellation, near St.-Vallerin. Yet here the terroir changes, with a ton more chalky limestone and thus more definition and cut in the wine; racy and ripe at once. 



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Montagny 1er Cru ‘Vigne du Soleil’

The sunniest vineyard in Montagny, says winemaker Maxime Cottenceau. With a name like this — the vines of the sun — how can it not be? Estate vines here face south/southeast, at the base of the slope of premier cru ‘Montcuchot.’ Soils are deep and dark, rich in clay and small white stones (limestone). Complex and savory, with piles of sunny ripe fruit that still retains impressive persistence and definition on the palate. One to age (if you can keep your hands off it now).



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Mercurey ‘La Chagnée’

A racy and ripe Burgundian Pinot Noir from a sunny, south/southeast slope in the bucolic village of Mercurey. Expressive red fruits, spice, tons of energy and depth.



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Established: 2018
Winemaker: Maxime Cottenceau
Region: France • Burgundy • Côte Chalonnaise • Buxy
Vineyard size: 10 acres


Having completed his studies and with a couple of vintages alongside Vincent Dureuil, Cottenceau established his own domaine in the village of Buxy, debuting with the 2018 vintage. Everything is picked by hand, gently pressed and carefully sorted, the wines spend 18-20 months in barrel with the final six-month in tank. If you doubt Montagny is able to produce genuine premier cru quality wines, you need to check these out …


Domaine Vincent Dureuil Janthial Burgundy France