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This is a lovely Beaujolais from the Chignard family, better known for their Fleurie "Les Moriers." As with much of Julienas the bedrock of "Beauvernay" is diorite, rather than granite, locally called "roches bleues." It's an interesting terroir of volcanic origin with more clay and rich in magnesium, giving complex well-structured wines. Possessing the ripe fruit and lush palate of the 2022 vintage in Beaujolais, the Julienas "Beauvernay" shows a pretty red/black color, with elegant, a bit restrained aromas of black raspberry and black cherry with violet, blood orange, earth and stone, which should open up nicely over the next few years. It's ripe and sapid but with lively acidity and well proportioned. Tart cherry, plum and red currant fruit with saline minerals, earth and spice coat the palate and continue in the earthy finish. Quite lovely now, especially with a long decant, this should soften and gain complexity with three to five years of aging, drink till 2028.
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
Georges Descombes has created another superb Morgon in 2020 - not as bright perhaps as the 2014 (pictured) but with a similar balance of alcohol (13%), freshness and very ripe sappy fruit. The wine shows a bright, vivid red/black color with earth, violet and citrus notes mingling with lovely raspberry and blackberry aromas. The palate is ripe, silky and well-structured with fresh, velvety raspberry, cherry and blackberry fruit, with earth and mineral notes bringing texture and length to the sappy, lingering finish. This is a beautiful Morgon to serve cool with farm chicken, grilled pork and lamb, cow cheeses and charcuterie over the next 4 - 5 years. David Lillie
2020 was the first vintage of "L'Aube à Javernières" and the first Desvignes wine to not be 100% cru Morgon, coming from a parcel of 20 to 30-year-old vines in deep clay soils on the edge of Javernières, just below the Cote du Py hill. The grapes are harvested by hand and the winemaking is consistent with most of the Desvignes wines, undergoing semi-carbonic fermentation and aged in concrete with no punchdowns. The 2022 is a fresh and exuberant expression of Gamay with beautiful ripeness, showing red fruit and cool herbs on the nose, backed by earthy acidity that creates wonderful tension and a long finish that makes it a versatile pairing partner. Absolutely delicious and a great value for anyone who loves serious Beaujolais!
The 2022 Desvignes Morgon "Cote de Py" is from 2.2 hectares of parcels on the Côte du Py, which is famous for its roche pourrie or "rotten rock" of manganese-rich, decomposed schist and its structured, long-lived wines. The vines are around 70 years old and have a cooler NE exposure at the top of the hill. They are certified-organic and harvested by hand. Generally around 50% of the bunches are left whole with the other 50% destemmed and put together into closed concrete vats for a partly carbonic fermentation; maceration is 13-14 days with a submerged cap and no punchdowns. The 2022 Côte du Py was aged in concrete egg for 10 months. This is a beautiful wine showing a bit more density and black fruits than the Javenieres. The color is a deep black/red with light rim. The aromas are deep and elegant - blackberry, black cherry, earth and licorice with mineral, sous-bois and citrus notes. The palate is dense and deep with black fruit liqueur, ripe and well structured with firm tannins. Black fruits, firm acicity and mineral flavors merge in the long finish - a wine to cellar for five years and then enjoy until 2035, but the tannins are supple and the sapid fruit makes this enjoyable young as well. Lovely wine. David Lillie
Claude-Emannuelle and Louis-Benoit are the seventh generation of winemakers at Desvignes and the domain was one of the first in Morgon to "estate-bottle" beginning in 1955. "The spirit of our vinification is between the Beaujolais carbonic maceration and a Burgundy vinification," she says. The parcel "Javernieres," on the lower southeast corner of the Cote de Py, is considered by the Desvignes as their best terroir. Here the thicker topsoil with more clay and iron oxide gives a more generous wine. The 2022 seems a bit softer and more generous that the "Cote de Py" showing a deep red/garnet color, with aromas of black raspberry, cherry and strawberry, floral and elegant. The palate is beautifully textured with chalky red and black fruits with floral, spice and citrus notes. This has an elegant and full-bodied roundness, but with the acidity and tannin to allow long-term aging. Serve a bit cool and enjoy now, best after 3 to 5 years and then until 2035+ David Lillie
2022 Desvignes "Aux Pierres" - 2020 was the first vintage from this new parcel in the historic lieu-dit of Javernières at the foot of the famous Côte du Py hill. "Aux Pierres" comes from this 0.57-hectare plot of 90-year-old vines on a steep, east-facing slope. The soils are iron-rich, red clay with schist, pyrite and decomposed volcanic rocks. The wine is aged in 30-hectoliter concrete egg for 10 months. The Desvignes family considers "Aux Pierres" to be a true vin de garde. While we loved the austere elegance and depth of the 2021 "Aux Pierres," it has taken a more "solaire" and generous vintage to bring out the greatness in these old vines and this unique terroir. "It has a very complex mineral-driven bouquet with dark cherries, tea-leaves and crushed stone, floral scents emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. This is very pure in style, beautifully balanced with a satin textured finish that is one of the most caressing you will find this vintage. Outstanding." - Neal Martin Vinous. We couldn't agree more - cellar for 5 years then drink until 2040 - or open a few days in advance, recork, then enjoy!
Jean-Paul Brun's Chardonnay comes from 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!
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. The 2022 shows a bright deep red color. The aromas are high-toned and ripe with red currant, raspberry and wild strawberry, quite bright and floral. The palate shows lush, ripe berry fruits backed by citrusy acidity, quite refreshing. The finish is long and sappy with bright red fruits and tart acidity - stock-up on this crowd-pleasing Beaujolais!
100% Gamay. Always our favorite Nouveau! 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 2023 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 2023 vintage wines to come...
Paul-Henri Thillardon began with 3 hectares of family vineyards in 2008, then acquired 2 hectares in Chénas, always worked with organic/biodynamic methods and has been certified organic since 2011. Vinifications here are semi-carbonic, with a long maceration but gentle extraction. "Vibrations" is an assemblage of all of the domaine's Chénas parcels, including some fruit from their top site, "Chassignol", bottled with zero So2 additions. Pretty, ethereal aromas of juicy, red berry fruit and high-toned floral notes, combine with subtle, flinty-mineral notes. Light-bodied and vibrant, with lots of energy from the lively acidity and bright red-fruit flavors, and supple tannins. Drinking very well now, and should continue to evolve over the next 3-5 years. Punchy, racy fun with saucisson before dinner, but with enough earthy soul to shine magret of duck. This is sensational Chénas and “Vibrations” is an apt name for the cuvée—it’s just humming and strumming with energy!