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From four hectares of massale-selection, high density plantings ranging from 50 to 100 years of age in the lieu-dits of Chenes, Corcelette, and les Martillets. Vigneron Jean-Claude Chanudet works the vineyards organically but does not seek certification. Upon opening, the 2016 is slightly musky and burly, but with a little bit of air it unfolds into an elegantly balanced wine, displaying vivid fruit, soft tannins, medium body and bright acidity. The nose exhibits aromas of raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, orange peel, dried rose, and a slight earthy quality. The palate carries the fruit very well, and introduces a slightly savory quality; a hint of black tea and blackcurrant leaf. Pair with all the usual suspects (i.e. roast chicken), this was also quite delicious on it's own. Oskar Kostecki
A rare and delicious Fleurie from Jean-Claude Chanudet at Domaine Chamonard! Since taking over from his father-in-law (Joseph Chamonard) in 1990, Jean-Claude has been keeping the beautiful natural traditions of this estate alive. This Fleurie comes from a single parcel of older vines planted on a steep slope of pink granite soils, farmed by hand without the use of any chemicals. Upon opening the 2017 is quite tight and wound up. With some air the nose starts to show aromas of raspberry, macerated strawberry, red apple peel, pomegranate, zesty orange rind, crushed violets, dried rose, sandalwood, and warm spice. The palate has a depth and intensity to it, and very long finish. One can feel this wine's potential, even through it's slightly awkward youthful demeanor. The bottle I tried took several hours to open up, and was much softer and more approachable the second day. And delicious! This wine has a long life ahead of it, and will reward your patience in the cellar. Oskar Kostecki
The step-son of Georges Descombes, Damien Coquelet has worked alongside him since early childhood. Damian's 2016 Chiroubles VV is a beautiful wine showing bright aromas of ripe raspberry, morello chery, violet and citrus, really quite pretty. There is a lively mineral attack on the palate with earthy plum, cherry and raspberry fruit that is sappy, earthy and long. Quite lovely now, this should really sing after a few years of cellaring. Highly recommended! David Lillie
Alain Coudert makes this lovely wine from two small parcels on typical Fleurie terroir of sandy soils over decomposed granite, in contast to the heavier clay/manganese soils at the Clos de la Roilette, which borders Moulin-a-Vent. The 2017 is a bright garnet/red color with vivid aromas of black raspberry and ripe strawberry with violet, pepper, earth and citrus. There is deep, ripe berry fruit on the palate, sappy and long with dark chocolate, earth and citrus with firm acidity and brightness. This delicious full-bodied Fleurie shows the richness of the 2017 vintage but remains fresh and lively - drink this beautiful Beaujolais over the nextthree to five years, served cool, with just about anything!
This is a classic version of the Descombes Morgon VV, showing subtle high-toned black raspberry and tart cherry aromas with plum, violet, citrus, earth and brown spice, really lovely. The elegant black and red fruits continue on the palate with complex notes of blood orange, mint and spice, quite saline and earthy as well, really showing the terroir. The wine is dense and structured but bright and balanced, finishing with refreshing acidity, citrus, cherry fruit, anise and mineral flavors. Delicious now, this should be superb in three to five years, and should drink well till 2030 and beyond. David Lillie
George Descombes consistently makes some of our favorite wines in Beaujolais, and the his village wines are some of the best values in the region. George works the vines organically, ferments using only native yeasts and whole cluster, semi-carbonic maceration and bottles with minimal sulpher, creating expressions of Beaujolias that are fruit-driven, but with beautiful minerality and aging potential. His vines in Morgon are planted on soils of sand/gravel and decomposing granite. The 2017 is a beautiful medley of ripe red fruit: wild raspberries, dark cherry, red currants and pomegranate. It is balanced with floral aromatics of rose and violets, and an underlying earthy leafiness. There is great depth to the fruit, and the wine is carried to a long and satisfying finish by soft, ripe, and very well integrated tannins and good acidity. A hint of crunchy minerality rounds this out perfectly. Oskar Kostecki
Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes makes this beautiful Beaujolais from a small parcel of 90 year-old Gamay vines of various old varieties in Leynes, just south of Pouilly-Fuissé. The parcel is at 1200 ft in altitude, with granite soils. From the warm 2015 vintage, the wine shows ripe blackberry aromas with earth, mint, cocoa and game; the palate is dense with supple blackberry fruit framed in firm acidity and strong flavors of earth, citrus and minerals. This is a complex and delicious Gamay that will accompany grilled foods this summer, stews and tagines throughout the year. Cellaring for five to eight years would be interesting. David Lillie
Known for the Vignes du Maynes wines from Cruzille, in the south of Burgundy, Julien Guillot has had the chance over the years to take long term leases on a few vineyards south of Macon in the Beaujolais. Due to issues with frost and hail in 2016, and to the loss of a rental vineyard to an old owner who decided to tear out vines, this vintage of the "Climat" is a combination of grapes from Chenas and from a vineyard called "Pierres Bleues" which is near Villefranche. Chenas is all granite, and Pierres Bleues is limestone. The wines fermented and aged separately and were blended a few months before bottling. From what I percieve, there's hint of granitic spiciness from Chenas, and some lift and energy from the limestone site. There's lovely fresh rasberry fruit on the attack, and a very mineral, stony finish. Fresh and elegant at 12.5%. Eben Lillie
The Mont Brouilly, a volcanic "bump" in the granite bedrocks of the Beaujolais, is a terroir of mineral-rich bluish rock with little or no soil, giving a quite different character to the wines. The Lapalu 2014 is from a one hectare parcel of old vines with northeast exposure, so late to ripen. The fruit was 80% destemmed and 20% whole cluster carbonic maceration, with 10 mg/liter of SO2 added only before bottling. This is a quite different style than the 2015s, showing a bright black/red color and earthy aromas of blackberry, black cherry and red currant with violet, black pepper and citrus. The palate is dense and earthy with blackberry and black cherry, framed in firm acidity and quite prominent mineral flavors that continue in the well-structured finish. Still a young wine, this will drink well with grilled meats and stews, best with a long decant or three to five more years in the cellar.
The Pignard's Morgon Cuvée Tradition is simply superb in 2016. Good friends with Christian Ducroux, the Pignards practise similar methods of biodynamic farming and natural vinifications. Produced from steep hillside vineyards, the wine ferments naturally, with approximately 10mg of SO2 added and spends a year in vat followed by a year in old barriques. The 2016 vintage was a difficult one for the growers, resulting in low yields, but with a sunny late season that produced beautiful wines with pure fruit, light to medium body and firm acidity. The 2016 Morgon Tradition is a superb wine, sowing a deep red color and aromas of ripe morello cherry, strawberry and black raspberry liqueur, with violet, rose, orange peel and earth. There is berry liqueur on the palate which is dense and long but not heavy. It's well balanced and bright at 12.5 % alcohol, finishing with sappy black fruits, citrus and earth. Serve in it's vibrant youth with steak frites, charcuterie, coq au vin and cow cheeses. This will be worth cellaring, best perhaps 2022 - 2030. Highly recommended. David Lillie
Jean-Paul Brun's Chardonnay comes 35 year-old vines grown on sandy clay and limestone soils in the southern Beaujolais and is raised in stainless steel (no oak). Bright aromas of peach, apricot, lemon zest, and thyme lead to flavors of pure white fruits, juicy lime, crisp orange blossom, subtle herbal undertones, and a long chalky finish. Paired with salad, seafood,chicken, goat milk cheeses, or nothing at all, this is a beautiful choice and great value in white Burgundy!
The Thévenet Morgon VV is always one of the greatest of Beaujolais. From 4.75 hectares near Le Clachet, from vines averaging 70 years of age, with some planted before World War One. About 2,000 cases are produced. Vineyard work is biodynamic, fermentation is with wild yeasts at a moderately low temperature (10 - 13 degrees Celsius). Aging is mostly in old barrels from DRC with minimal extraction.. The 2017 Thévenet shows a bit of reduction, then complex aromas of red currant, rose, black plum, earth, violet, blood orange, spice and licorice, light and pretty when first opened then darkening with aeration. The palate shows bright red currant and berry liqueur with mineral, citrus, rose and spice. After three hours open the wine has gathered intensity with deep sappy and earthy black fruits. The finish is firm with citrusy acidity, fruit and mineral flavors with good density and length. Decant if drinking now, this superb natural Morgon will be best from 2022 to 2030. David Lillie