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With vineyards dating back to 910 AD that have been farmed organically since the 1950s, and three generations of experience at the estate vinifying without additives, Julien Guillot is producing some of the most unique and delicious natural wines of France. We've just received the estate's two top cuvées, the rare and beautiful Bourgogne Rouge "Auguste" and Macon-Cruzille "Manganite!"
The 2019 "Cuvée Auguste" is a superb Burgundy made from massale selection Pinot Fin planted in 1964. The parcel, high on the slope in Cruzille, is on Bathonian limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica, giving yields of 20hl/ha. The 2019 "Manganite" is made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium. Both reds are made in a combination of carbonic and normal fermentation, using layers of grapes in whole-clusters and de-stemmed grapes, with zero additives. Also just arrived is the superb 2018 Macon-Cruzille "Aragonite," made from massale selection Chardonnay grown on limestone with extremely thin clay/silt topsoil giving beautiful minerality to the wine, fermented and aged in old foudres "to preserve freshness and to avoid a woody character that we do not seek in our wines." 10 to 20gm/l of SO2 is added depending on the vintage.
We opened a 2009 Auguste to see how it's doing: Tasted, I mean drunk, in March 2021, the 2009 Auguste is showing a firm garnet/red color with aromas of rose, tea, wild strawberry and cherry with earth, stone, citrus zest and spice. The palate is chalky and sapid with beautiful plum, cherry, rose and violet, earth, chalk and citrus flavors, elegant. silky and very long. Drink now or hold 5 - 8 years.
Wines from outside the Clos in Cruzille are from small organic or Biodynamic parcels in the Mâcon and Beaujolais, vinified with the same techniques. Of particular note in today's email are the superb 2018 Chénas "Petites Pierres/Gandelins" and the 2018 Morgon "Les Charmes," from great terroirs in organic and Biodynamic farming, both showing the magic of Julien's semi-carbonic vinifications with zero additives. 36 btls of each are available.
Wines are in stock, please allow 3 - 5 days for pick-up/shipping.
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 2019s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful density and 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 intense with blackberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2019 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended!
Carved from vineyards once owned by the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny and farmed organically by Julien Guillot's family since 1954, Clos Vignes du Maynes is one of the most distinctive growers in Burgundy. Aragonite comes from 40- to 80-year-old Chardonnay vines high on the slope, on thin soils of clay, crystallized limestone, and laced with other minerals. This wine is incredibly aromatic upon opening with aromas of golden pear, green apple, apricot, white grapefruit, honeysuckle, and bergamot; there is a hint of earthy heather honey and butterscotch. On the palate it is quite rich and luscious, in this warm low-yielding vintage, and much more tropical and salty than in years past. In fact, if tasted blind, I could see this being mistaken for a great Chardonnay from the Jura as it has fantastic acidity, and is beautifully textured, long, and mineral. On day two the aromas have softened a bit, and the palate has gained an added savory note that contributes to a still stunningly long finish. The 2018 Aragonite is not to be missed.
This is a new cuvee for Julien Guillot, using certified organic fruit from two parcels in Chenas: "Les Petites Pierres" - 60 year-old vines on granite stones and clay over granite bedrock, and "Gandelins" - 80 year-old vines in a south-facing vineyard on decomposed granite, bordering Moulin-a-Vent. Tasted last winter during our usual sprint through the many bottles and barrels at Vignes du Maynes, the wine showed complex red fruit aromas with black raspberry and strawberry fruit with earth and mint, quite elegant and silky textured, with terrific length. No added SO2. 36 btls for the US.
The Vignes du Maynes "Cuvée Auguste" is a superb Burgundy made from massale selection Pinot Fin planted in 1964. The parcel, high on the slope in Cruzille, is on Bathonian limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica. Yields of 20 hl/ha, semi-carbonic fermentation, with zero additives, bottled under nitrogen. 2019 is a superb vintage for the Cuvée Auguste with a bit of extra density due to the warm, dry conditions of the vintage. The wine shows elegant aromas of black raspberry and wild strawberry with hints of blood orange, violet and brown spice - really lovely. The palate shows a beautiful melange of blackberry, strawberry and tart cherry with citrus, earth and minerals, very sappy and dense. Elegant finish of earth, stone and red fruits. This is a gorgeous wine, and quite delicious now, but cellaring of ten years or more should be possible. Congratulations to Julien Guillot for this beautiful Pinot!
The 2018 Extra-Brut Ste. Geneviève is a superb Champagne method sparkling wine made with Pinot fin, Chardonnay, Gamay and Aligoté - 50% grown at the Clos des Vignes du Maynes and 50% purchased fruit. The wine shows lovely aromas of white peach and red fruits, spiced pear and honey. The palate is creamy and full, with pear, a hint of red currant and berry fruits, honey, stone and brown spice with fabulous length. This is unique and really lovely - it will be great fun to share this rare wine with friends and family as a special aperitif! David Lillie
Julien Guillot made beautiful wines in 2018 and this Pinot Noir is no exception, from 3 parces of very chalky soils in the Macon - showing lovey texture, complexity, finesse and freshness. The lovely aromas are of raspberry, blood orange, tart plum, brown spice, earth and tea, for starters. The palate is soft, silky and refreshing with black fruits mingled with earth, citrus, stone and tea with plum and raspberry emerging in the finish. Any lover of natural wine should try this! No added SO2, 100% delicious.
Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes, makes this lovely Mâcon-Villages (100% Chardonnay) from certified organic parcels in Viré-Clessé, Chardonnay and Montbellet, on Bathonian limestone with clay, rich in silica. The 2018 is a fascinating and very natural Chardonnay, showing bright pale gold color and high-toned aromas of lemon zest, white peach, pear, almond and honeysuckle. The palate is dense and supple with white fruit, stone and almond flavors, finishing with citrus and minerals. This is a young wine that will benefit from aeration if drinking now, and will cellar for ten years. 30 mg/l SO2.
Julien Guillot at the Clos des Vignes du Maynes makes this Mâcon Rouge from 20 different old Gamays, including Gamay "teinturiers" with thick skins and dark juice, with no added SO2. The 2017 shows a deep red color with aromas of blackberry, tart cherry, srawberry, black pepper, roast meat, fennel, citrus peel, violet... The palate is lean and elegant with citrusy black fruits, earth and mineral flavors, chalky and long. "This wine is indestructible" says Julien, and it's obviously built to last. Serve with a farm chicken in sauce, and decant or open in advance, but best to cellar for five or ten years. David Lillie
Starting with beautiful biodynamic grapes from Roland Pignard on "les Charmes" in Morgon, Julien worked his magic in the cellar with his zero-sulfur semi-carbonic vinification and the result is this superb Morgon from great terroir. The wine shows the ripeness of this excellent vintage in Beaujolais and the intense flavors of terroir always present in the Pignard wines over the years. Julien's vinification has created a beautifully balanced and pretty wine with fabulous length - drink now or cellar 5 to 10 years, only 36 btls in the US... DL
Julien Guillot's 2018 "Ultimatum Climat" is from a parcel in the soutern Beaujolais called "Les Pierres Bleues" - it's a gorgeous Beaujolais combining elegance and structure with beautiful fruit, for current drinking and medium-term cellaring. The vines are more than 100 years old, located in the commune of Bully on an ancient volcanic rift. The subsoil is limestone with sandy clay and dark blue metamorphic rocks, giving a strong salinity to the wine. The vineyard is in organic/biodynamic farming and the wine is produced in the Vignes du Maynes carbonic method with zero sulfur added. Deep red/black color: slight reduction then bright strawberry and raspberry fruit, violet, graphite, earth, licorice and citrus. The palate shows lush blackberry and raspberry fruit, creamy and sapid but backed with firm acidity, with violet, earth and citrus notes that continue in the long supple finish. Really delicious and nicely balanced for a 2018 at 12.5 % alcohol - drink now or cellar for 5 to 8 years for a mature experience.