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Georges Descombes is one of the very greatest producers in Beaujolais - his 2019s - both the "regular" cuvées and the Vieilles Vignes are astonishingly delicious! Sadly, only the Brouilly and Regnié regular cuvées are left in stock, along with a few bottles of the Regnié VV. The 2020s arrive in May at higher prices along with more of the 2019 VVs - which will be at $47. Our advice - stock up on our remaining inventory of 2019 Brouilly and Regnié and jump on those last bottles of Regnié VV at the lower price. (Yes, with our normal 10% case discount.)
The Guy Breton Morgon Vieilles Vignes is always one of the most elegant and age-worthy of Beaujolais. Coming from 2.5 hectares of 80 year-old vines, the production is very small and availability in the US is limited. We're happy to offer the 2020 which can be enjoyed immensely as a young wine, best to wait 5 to 8 years and drink until 2035. The Morgon vineyards, which exceed a century of age in some parcels, are located in the Morgon climat “Les Charmes”, primarily in the high-altitude lieu-dit “Saint-Joseph,” where slow ripening allows for low alcohol and great freshness in the wines. Breton is among the first in the region to start picking each year, cooling down his harvest and pressing before the end of fermentation to craft wines he likes to drink: bright, aromatic, low in tannin, and dangerously easy to quaff.
Domaine Belicard in Lancié has existed since 1754. Nestor Belicard took over the family estate in 2017 and immediately converted it to organic agriculture. "My desire is to go back to essentials, that is to say, to the way my great grandfather did things in the thirties. My methods include the preservation of ancient, high density planted vineyards (10,000 vines per hectare/4,000 vines per acre), the rejection of all use of pesticides and other synthetic products, mechanical weeding, low yields and picking the grapes exclusively by hand, vinifying naturally without the use of preservatives (sulfites) whenever possible." - Nestor Belicard. (Note: M. Belicard is determined to make the finest quality natural Beaujolais. Prices quoted today are due to a glitch in distribution and will be about twice as high in subsequent vintages.)
Prunelle de Navacelle is a trailblazing vigneronne in the emerging Beaujolais-Lantignié region. She produces small lots of her personal project at her family’s Château du Basty, home of the Perroud family since 1482. Prunelle farms old vines with regenerative agroecology methods to encourage biodiversity while fighting climate change. Her Lantignié is made from three 80-year-old Gamay parcels, 1.03ha total, planted in pink granite and clay at 400m, fermented with native yeasts, and produced with respect to her natural principles, without fining or filtration. The result is authentic, elegant, and transparent. 2019 was an excellent lower-yielding, charming, well-balanced year, with floral, perfumed aromatics. This is a superb Gamay, well worth trying!
The 2020 Morgon "Cote de Py" of Domaine Desvignes is back in stock! Now in the 8th generation of this family of winemakers, siblings Claude-Emmanuelle and Louis-Benoît work their parcels organically and hand harvest their 11 hectares in Morgon, looking for peak ripeness and healthy fruit to make elegant and structural, age-worthy wines. The 2020 "Côte du Py" comes from vines averaging around 70 years of age, planted on manganese-rich schist soils, and shows lovely aromas of ripe blackberry with hints of violet, dark chocolate and earth. The palate is velvety and ripe with blackberry and black currant fruit with a nice chewy, earthy texture. There is nice balancing acidity and earthy mineral flavors to balance the copious fruit - serve cool and enjoy now or hold 5 - 10 years.
10% case/mixed case discount, of course. Please allow 5 - 7 days for pick-up/shipping.
Georges Descombes is one of the great producers of natural Beaujolais - the Descombes Brouilly comes from 3.5 hectares on steep slopes, farmed organically. Carbonic maceration with whole clusters then a slow vertical press to finish the fermentation. No additives, a small addition of SO2 before bottling. The 2019 Brouilly Vieilles Vignes may have been the best 2019 Beaujolais I have tasted and while this wine doesn't have quite the density of its big sibling, it is just as TASTY. Vivid raspberry and strawberry fruit, allspice and clove and that cool trace of bitterness in the finish that betrays the granite soils underneath. Pound for pound, I think Descombes is the finest producer in the region over the last ten years, making consistently great wines that are completely affordable. Sam Ehrlich
The 2019 Regnié from Geroges Descombes is a delicious and finely balanced wine, even in a warmer vintage, Ripe and generous fruit is offset with lively acidity and a vivid intensity on the palate that keeps this wine lifted and fresh. On the nose there are high-toned earthy, meaty aromas of red and black currant, black raspberry, black cherry, rose, violets, and licorice. The palate has soft and finely integrated tannins and a beautiful texture, showing notes of ripe strawberry, plum and raspberry liqueur, blackberry, pomegranate, orange peel, baking spice and a granitic minerality, especially on the supple, complex and satisfying finish. This is a very versatile wine, really a superb Beaujolais - drink now or hold for 5 to 8 years - highly recommended!
fPre-Arrival, expected 5/3) From 80 year-old vines in "Saint-Joseph" (Les Charmes) and "Grand Cras"on sandy granite soils, farmed organically. Vinification is a two - three week carbonic maceration with wild yeasts, with minimal SO2 added only at bottling, without fining or filtration. Breton makes among the most elegant of Beaujolais... And this is no exception. There is beautifully juicy red berry fruit, with some blue around the edges, with some spice from the carbonic maceration and excellent acidity. However, what really distinguishes this is the intense granite mineral component that gives the finish great length and a cool bitterness. This is a wine of real presence and should not be missed. Sam Ehrlich
Nestor Bélicard took over the family estate in 2017, composed of 5.5 ha of old vines in Lancié, Fleurie and Morgon, some parcels planted the old way at 10,000 vines per hectare. The estate was immediately converted to organic agriculture with the intent to produce natural wines of the highest quality. The 2018 Beaujolais-Villages Lancié was produced with zero added SO2 and shows a fairly dark black/red color. The nose is a touch smudged on opening, but with air reveals aromas of black cherry, strawberry confit, and a bit of plum skin gloss, with spice and earth note aromas emerging. The palate is concentrated, but by no means blocky, with ripe tannins and a freshening flash of acidity lifting the the darker toned warm vintage character. This has fine balance and energy with plenty of brio on the finish. Enjoy this with a light chill with grilled chicken, saucisson, or a lovely piece of Copper River King salmon with touch of salsa verde. This out-performs the vintage and is sharply priced, to boot. John McIlwain
The Nestor Belicard 2018 Morgon "Les Balmes" shows a brighrt red/black color and intense aromas of ripe black cherry, very floral and pretty with a bit of oak. There is lush black cherry/black raspberry fruit on the palate with good freshness and firm acidity. Sappy cherry fruit, violet and spice linger on the finish. This is a lovely Morgon to drink over the next five years - it's a sensational value!
Grown in blue schiste soils, the 2019 Prunelle de Navacelle has a pretty strawberry and floral nose with hints of hibiscus and cool herbs. The palate is lithe and racy, with the juicy red fruit undergirded by fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity on a medium long, lifted finish. This has fine brio and is a delicious expression of Beaujolais-Lantignie. JCM
The Desvignes' parcels on the Côte du Py sit near the top of the famed hill. Now in the 8th generation of this family of winemakers, siblings Claude-Emmanuelle and Louis-Benoît work their parcels organically and hand harvest their 11 hectares in Morgon, looking for peak ripeness and healthy fruit to make elegant and structural, age-worthy wines. Grapes for this cuvée come from vines averaging around 70 years in age, planted on manganese-rich schist soils. Semi-carbonic fermentation and further aging on fine lees is in concrete tank. The 2020 Cote de Py shows lovely aromas of ripe blackberry with hints of violet, dark chocolate and earth. The palate is velvety and ripe with blackberry and black currant fruit with a nice chewy, earthy texture. There is nice balancing acidity and earthy mineral flavors to balance the copious fruit - serve cool and enjoy now or hold 5 - 8 years.