We're happy to announce the arrival of our final shipment of the wonderful 2011 Regnié from Christian Ducroux, accompanied by delicious new Beaujolais from Jean-Claude Chanudet, Michel Guignier, Bruno Debize and Cyril Alonzo at PUR. It's exiting to have some great new-comers joining our old favorites in the Beaujolais and we hope you'll give them a try. Although there are stylistic differences between these wines, they share a lovely purity of fruit and a lively character on the palate that makes them food-friendly and refreshing. All these growers do great work in the vineyard and are certified organic or biodynamic. Ducroux and Guignier work entirely without added sulfites and the others have a minimal dosage of SO2 at bottling only, helping to give all these wines a complexity and freshness not found in "conventional" Beaujolais. These are delicious, thirst-quenching wines that belong on your table this fall! (We've attached a few of our favorite Cru Beaujolais to this list for your consideration.)
Christian Ducroux is one of the unsung heroes of French wine. His vineyard work is certainly among the best in the world and his meticulous vinifications without sulfur give wines that are alive, fascinating and delicious. He wants his wines to be affordable to all, but they are worth twice the price.
Michel Guignier in Vauxrenard (yes, there's another Michel Guignier in Morgon) makes brilliant light bodied Beaujolais on his 6-hectare estate, including small parcels in Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent. He has very steep high-density vineyards ('comme autrefois') that he works by hand or with horse-drawn plows. Vinification is semi-carbonic, aging is in old barriques and foudres and there is no SO2 used. Guignier's Beaujolais-Villages "La Bonne Pioche," while similar in style to Ducroux' Regnie, is more akin to a light-bodied Fleurie and his Moulin-a-Vent is a marvelously complex expression of the manganese-rich granite soils. We urge you to try them.
Joseph Chamonard was one of the first growers in Morgon to adopt the ideas of Jules Chauvet and was quietly making some of the greatest Beaujolais on his tiny 4-hectare property. His daughter Genevieve and her husband Jean-Claude Chanudet took over the estate in 1990 and have continued to make small quantities of superb Morgon. They recently acquired two small parcels, one near Morgon, the other near Fleurie and are making a superb Beaujolais-Village, the "Cuvee du Chat" (Le Chat being Jean-Claudes's nickname). It's an elegant and beautifully balanced wine that will drink well over the next few years.
Bruno Debize took over vineyards worked by his father, mostly in the southern Beaujolais on limestone soils, and converted them to Biodynamic agriculture. As opposd to the other growers in this email, Debize works in a Burgundian style - destemmed fruit, an old vertical wooden press, fermentations with cap-punching for extraction and a long elevage in old foudres. The Beaujolais-Villages "L'Homme a la Veste" comes from both granite and limestone terroir, and is the lightest and most forward ("gouleyant" is a better word) wine from Debize.
PUR - Production Unique Rebelle - consists of Florian Looze and Cyril Alonzo, itinerant winemakers who vinify and select wines from the best natural and organic growers situated between the Rhone and Burgundy. Their vinifications are "sincere and alive" with minimal or no SO2, without "make-up" or additives. We don't usually go for cartoon labels, but PUR's Porc Tout Gai, from a tiny plot of 100 year-old vines on granite in the northern Beaujolais is totally charming. Carbonic maceration, with no added sulfur, 100% delicious.