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Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD (!), now certified biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation. The 2018s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and silky with raspberry/strawberry fruit, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2018 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended! DL
This special cuvée is a commemoration of eleven hundred years of winemaking, the vineyards in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes having been planted around AD 900 and wine first produced for the Abbey of Cluny around 910. This "medieval" wine is a field blend of Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir, including the old varieties Gamay Petit Grain and Pinot Fin. The grapes were transported in carts pulled by Charolais bulls, then pressed by foot, vinified and aged without sulfur and bottled by hand in the spring. Although this is always a light, delicate wine, the 2018 weighs in at a whopping 12% alcohol! The color is a lovely and bright red/black; the aromas are ripe and floral with violet, ripe black-cherry and a melange of lush berries. The palate is light but loaded with ripe, pure berry fruit backed by citrusy acids. This is a gorgeous wine that should gain complexity with time, perhaps three to five years (or more?) but it's much too delicious right now to consider cellaring. Zero added SO2.