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The young Damien Coquelet, under the guidance of this step-father Georges Descombes, is making some of the prettiest wines in the Beaujolais. Organic farming, wild yeasts and minimal sulfur. This wine is from old vines formerly part of the Domaine Savoye-Descombes. This needs some time to awaken then shows bright, subtle strawberry fruit, floral and herbal with citrus and spice. The palate is soft with earthy raspberry/strawberry fruit in a light style with bright acidity. At 12% alcohol, it's not a fruuit bomb, but will nicely accompany vegetarian and lighter meat dishes, charcuterie and mild cheeses.
2018 is proving to be a superb vintage for Beaujolais, with lush, vibrant fruit and nice brightness despite the slightly higher than usual alcohol - the Damien Coquelet Beaujolais-Villages is a beautiful example and just a joyful wine! The wine shows a deep bright red color and aromas of crushed raspberry and strawberry with violet and citrus notes. The palate shows ripe sappy red and black fruits, pure and bright, lifted by citrusy acidity, with a nice earthy texture beneath the lush fruit that lingers in the long juicy finish. Serve cool for immense enjoyment over the next three or four years! David Lillie
2018 is an excellent vintage for Alain Coudert - reminiscent of the ripeness of 2009 but with firmer structure and brighter fruit. The Clos de la Roilette shows a deep red/black color, with lush aromas of cassis, black cherry, pomegranate and blackberry - very complex - with hints of blood orange, licorice and spice. The palate is dense and deep showing the Moulin-a-Vent side of Fleurie, with juicy black fruits backed with firm acidity and mineral flavors. The finish is long with sappy fruit liqueur and earthy acidity. It's a big wine but quite balanced and well-structured - open well in advance if drinking now, or cellar for three to five years then drink until 2030. This is a classic Clos de la Roilette and is 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!
(Tasting note from September, 2017) The Descombes Regnié Vieilles Vignes is superb in 2014, showing lovely aromas of red currant and strawberry, violet, orange peel, brown spice and soil. There is velvety strawberry and blackberry compote on the palate with rose, pomegranate, earth and citrus. The finish is long with lemony acidity, mineral flavors and pretty red fruits. This is a complex and beautifully balanced Regnié that is delicious now, with aeration, and it should be superb from 2019 to 2026+. Highly recommended. David Lillie
The Georges Descombes Regnie VV is a big, beautiful Gamay in this vintage known for ripe, full-bodied wines. The wine shows a deep red/black color and very floral aromas of ripe blackberry and red currant with hints of black cherry, earth and chocolate. The palate is deep and silky with surprisingly bright red currant and black cherry fruit liqueur, meaty and earthy, with a nice mineral kick in the long, lush finish. Serve this delicious Regnie with a steak or grilled meats and put a few in the basement for ten to fifteen years.
A relatively new offering from Georges Descombes, made from purchased fruit in organic/biodynamic farming. This is a beautiful Chardonnay showing elegant aromas of lime-flower, ripe pear and exotic fruit with almond and candied citrus. The palate is silky and beautifully balanced with ripe stone fruits, a bit of buttery oak and vibrant citrus and mineral flavors that continue in the long finish. This is a delightful white Burgundy that will accompany fish or chicken in sauce, white meats and cow cheeses - it's a tiny production and well worth trying. 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
The 2017 Regnié from Geroges Descombes is a 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 aromas of red and black currant, strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, rose, violets, and licorice. The palate has soft and finely integrated tannins and shows notes of strawberry and raspberry compote, cranberry, blackberry, pomegranate, orange peel, baking spice and a granitic minerality, especially on the complex and satisfying finish. This is a very versatile wine, and I wouldn't hesitate to pair with a wide range of foods, from roast chicken, to burgers or even a pork chop. It was equally at home accompanying the watching of a movie on the couch with just a little, hastily composed cheese plate for backup. A joyful wine for all occasions. Oskar Kostecki
(Tasted from three different barrels, January 2019) Ripe plum and berry fruit aromas, blackberry liqueur, earth, rose, licorice. The palate is deep, long and elegant with earthy red current, blackberry fruit, minerals and firm acidity, terrific length of fruit and stone, balanced and bright. This is both a superb natural wine and a great wine of terroir. Probably best 2022 - 2030. Thank-you, Christian Ducroux! David Lillie
The 2018 Perraud Saint-Amour is a vibrant and beautiful natural Beaujolais! The wine is from 40 year-old vines in organic farming, soils of sandy granite and small stones, vinified, aged and bottled with zero additives. The wine shows exuberant, floral aromas of black fruit liqueur with herbal and citrus notes. The palate shows bright, extremely pretty black and red fruits, a bit of cocoa, very mineral, with an almost bitter earthy character adding to the wine's complexity. This is a unique and delicious bottle of Saint-Amour and is highly recommended, especially for lovers of natural wines! David Lillie
The Perraud Morgon Gran Cras is an excellent example of the bold quality of fruit and structure that one can expect from 2018 Cru Beaujolais. From 60-year-old vines, the vineyard work is done without pesticides or herbicides. Similarly, fermentation is kicked off by indigenous yeasts and the grapes undergo semi-carbonic maceration. The wine is aged in old oak for 6 months and bottled unfiltered. Very little sulfur is used during the process. The nose and palate are a team of dark flowers, fresh earth, and wild dark fruits of cherry and blackberry. There are hints of green, savory herbs and dark stone on the palate as well. The structure is solid, with tannic chewiness and a focused, clean peak of acidity. It is a pleasure to drink now, but has a long life ahead. Dave H
The Pignard's Beaujolais-Villages is from a high-elevation parcel with 40 year-old vines in sandy clay over decomposed granite. There is a very short carbonic-maceration to preserve the fresh fruit and only a tiny addition of sulfur before the bottling. The 2016 is a subtle, elegant and well-structured Beaujolais, showing pretty aromas of raspberry, plum and tart cherry, with hints of violet, citrus and herbs. The palate shows firm acidity and saline mineral flavors, framing the blackberry and raspberry fruit, with hints of mint, spice and citrus. This is a real Beaujolais of terroir that is elegant and delicious now and will improve over the next few years. David Lillie
We're very proud to have the lovely Morgons of Roland Pignard at Chambers Street. From high-elevation 50 to 60 year-old vines in the commune of Saint-Joseph north-west of Villié-Morgon, in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes. Biodynamic farming, no SO2 until a minimal dose before bottling, with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The wine shows a bright medium red color with elegant aromas of black raspberry, black chery and earth with rose and violet. The palate is deep and ripe with firm acidity but stays light on its feet at 12.5% alcohol, with black and red fruits and mineral flavors that continue in the long finish. The "Tradition" cuvée is slightly rounder and deeper, but there is little difference between the wines in this super vintage for the Pignards. Serve cool with chicken and pork dishes, and put a few bottles away for five years as well. Highly recommended. David Lillie
Jean-Paul Brun of Domaine des Terres Dorées has 2 parcels of 50 to 60 year-old vines on a steep section of Mont Brouilly with a south-east exposition at about 1,000 ft of altitude. Here the soil is all stones, mostly a blue volcanic rock rather than the granite soils prevalent in the Beaujolais. This is a gorgeous wine! Lovely aromas of ripe blackberry and bright fruits such as boysenberry and red currant, very floral with violets, citrus, cocoa and earth. The palate is ripe but balanced (at 12.5% alcohol) with very sappy black and red fruit liqueur with mineral salts and citrusy acids that linger in the lush finish. (Note that the vinification for this wine is the classic Burgundy method rather than the usual semi-carbonic practised in the Beaujolais.) A beautiful Beaujolais for current drinking and over the next few years. Highly recommended! David Lillie
L'Ancien comes from Jean Paul Brun's home village of Charnay in the southern Beaujolais. The vines range in age from 40 to 60 years old and are planted on slopes sporting the area's signature sandy clay-limestone soils, featuring the particular local "dorée" or "golden" limestone that is laden with iron. These older vines have always been farmed organically and harvested by hand and yield small, thick-skinned Gamay berries. As for all Terres Dorées reds, the vinification is traditional Burgundian rather than the normal carbonic maceration in Beaujolais.
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, with occasional use of old barrels (no new 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 2018 Vieilles Vignes is a superb Morgon, that retains all it's complex, earthy character while showing the beautiful ripeness of this outstanding vintage. On opening the wine shows a potpourri of bright red and black fruits with cherry skin and black raspberry, spice, citrus and earth. The palate is silky, but with firm earthy tannins, with sappy cherry/raspberry/strawberry fruit framed in grainy minerality which continues in the long complex finish. This will need some time to reveal its secrets, please give it a long decant if drinking now, best to cellar three to five years and drink until 2032+