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This Beaujolais comes from one of the best sites in Fleurie; 'Les Moriers,' which borders Moulin-à-Vent. The vines are now nearly 70 years old which creates incredible concentration of flavor in the grapes. The fermentation is very traditional with whole-clusters held in vats for a week before pressing creating brightness in the wine and highlighting the floral and fresh fruit aromas that Gamay from Fleurie is famous for, while maintaining the rich, tannic structure that you see from Moulin-à-Vent.
Another lovely Brouilly Vieilles Vignes from Georges Descombes, certainly one of the best producers in Beaujolais! This needs some time to open up then shows lush blackberry/strawberry aromas with earth, violets and hints of spice. The palate is quite ripe and deep with red and black fruits tinged with citrus and spice, and a nice finish of red berries and earthy acids. Delicious now with some aeration, this should drink at it's best from 2022 - 2028+ David Lillie
Georges Descombes is one of the premiere vignerons in Beaujolais. His farming is certified organic and his winemaking is very traditional; using native yeasts, semi-carbonic maceration, and very little sulfur added at bottling.The 2018 Morgon showed beautifully, tasted with Georges in early February, a bit fuller and deeper than the Regnié and Brouilly, showing ripe aromas of raspberry and strawberry with elegant strawbery liqueur, earth and minerals on the palate with terrific length. It's a gorgeous wine that should be served slightly chilled with just about anything - enjoy over the next three to five years. David Lillie
Pretty young to be checking in on the old vines cuvée, but these are unusual times to say the least. Dark ruby, verging in purple robe. Dusty crushed blackberries, violets, and a brambly note on the nose. Nothing roasted or overripe here, despite the black fruit. The palate is mid-weight and has fine sap and vigor, with succulent ripeness and plenty of dry extract to buffer the firm—not stern—tannins. There’s good tension between the bright, ripe, concentrated fruit and the substantial mineral core. The finish is long and layered with good lift and fine persistence. There’s good structure here and while this has plenty of charm now, this ought to dazzle with 5-7 years in the cellar and beyond. And while the prices have crept up, this is a steal given its breed and rivals plenty of very good villages wines from my beloved Côte d’Or in character and complexity. John McIlwain
The 2018 Regnié Vieilles Vignes was one of the stars in last winter's tasting showing gorgeous red and black raspberry aromas with earth, citrus and spice, really lovely. The palate is elegant and long with black cherry, prune and red fruit liqueur with earth and smoke, with underlying mineral, graphite flavors. The wine is beautifully balanced and fresh at 13 - 13.5% alcohol, powerful yet refined and delicate, and will improve with a few years cellaring - but in such a nice place right now. This is an outstanding Beaujolais, simply delicious - serve cool with pork and lamb dishes, coq au vin, charcuterie, over the next ten years. EL
2019 "Exspectatia" (approximate blend, tasted in January 2020) Deep, high-toned aromas of black raspberry and raspberry, palate silky, velvety, round, raspberry and plum with darker fruit in the complex finish, plum skin, raspberry, citrus and earth. This is one of the world's finest natural wines - drink now and over the next ten to fifteen years. (At a recent tasting of 2009 vintage Beaujolais, including most of the finest, the 2009 Ducroux was the clear winner) Christian Ducroux's vineyard work is certainly among the finest in France. His 4 hectares in Thulon, in the hills above Régnié, have been organically farmed since the 1980s and are Demeter certified Biodynamic, with a wild proliferation of vegetation between the vines which is minimally controlled by horse-drawn plowing. Christian has been practising this type of regenerative agriculture for 35 years, and he's very happy that more vineyards are now using these methods! David Lillie
We're very proud to have the lovely Morgons of Sandrine Henriot at Chambers Street. The vines for this cuvée are 60 years old, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," just northwest of Saint-Joseph above Villié-Morgon. Biodynamic farming, with no SO2 added until a minimal dose before bottling. The fermentation is with wild yeasts with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The 2018 shows a bright, deep black/red color and a very perfumed nose of ripe strawberry and black raspberry fruit, quite floral and fresh. The palate is round and supple with a lovely melange of sappy black and red fruits with earth and spice. This needs to open a bit but is already a delicious Morgon that will accompany charcuterie and grilled foods this summer, peak drinking 2022 - 2026. David Lillie
The vines for this cuvée are 60 years old, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," just northwest of Saint-Joseph above Villié-Morgon, formerly belonging to Roland Pignard. Biodynamic farming, with no SO2 added until a minimal dose before bottling. The fermentation is with wild yeasts with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The cuvée "Fût de Chêne," like the Pignard "Tradition," spends 10 months in old barrels after aging in vat. The 2018 shows a deep red/black color and a bit of reduction on opening followed by elegant aromas of ripe strawberry and raspberry. The aromas are a bit brighter than in the regular Morgon, and the palate shows the extended aging, being a bit more elegant and long than the regular cuvée, with earthy strawberry and raspberry fruit with a long finish of minerals, firm acidity and pretty red fruits. This will age nicely, but is delicious now, try it with grilled pork or lamb this summer. David Lillie
Sandrine Henriot's parcel in Regnié has more clay in the soil than in Morgon and always gives a well-structured wine. The 2018 shows a deep black/purple color and high-toned aromas of blackberry and black raspberry with violet and citrus peel, quite elegant. The palate is supple and deep but not heavy with lovely black raspberry, cherry and raspberry confit, quite sapid and long with firm acidity and finishing with lingering red fruit and mineral flavors. Delicious now this will open up over the next few years, drink until 2028. 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, 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!
Jean-Paul Brun of Domaine des Terres Dorées has 2 parcels of 50 year-old vines on a steep section of Mont Brouilly with a south-east exposition at about 1,000 ft of altitude. The thin soil is almost entirely stones of granite with a high iron content. The 2018 shows lovely aromas of cherry and red currant liqueur with a touch of rose petal, cocoa and spice. The palate is ripe but balanced by refreshing acidity, showing pretty red fruits with earth and mineral flavors, with a silky, slightly grainy texture, finishing with nice length of sappy fruit and firm acidity. A beautiful Beaujolais for current drinking and over the next few years. "Contains very little sulfite," says the label "store in a cool place and consume rapidly after uncorking." We haven't noticed any problem keeping this wine, but consuming rapidly after uncorking will be easy... DL
100% Gamay. The Terres Dorées L'Ancien vines are Jean Paul's oldest vines at 40-60 years old. They grow on the sandy clay-limestone hills in his home village of Charnay in the southern Beaujolais and yield small, thick-skinned berries. The farming is organic and harvest manual. The earliest harvest of these vines goes into his Nouveau. Unlike any other Nouveau out there, there is no carbonic maceration (true for all of his Gamays). The bunches are destemmed, the fruit crushed and fermented with native yeasts in tank, notably with no chaptalization; it is aged briefly, though longer than most Nouveaux, and bottled in time to land in the states by the third Thursday in November. The 2020 version shows lovely aromas of ripe cherry and blackberry with citrus and floral notes; the palate is dense, sappy and ripe with deep red and black fruits and hints of earth, citrus and cocoa. This is a seriously delicious Nouveau and bodes well for the 2020 vintage wines to come...