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Beaujolais Time with some of the best producers

18/01/2017

 

Situated just south of Burgundy, the Beaujolais region is renowned for their fantastic Gamay and Beaujolais Nouveau.

Unfortunately, for a part of its history, the region suffered a less than favourable reputation due to the proliferation of inexpensive and low quality Beaujolais Nouveau. These wines were overly fruity, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November, just 1 or 2 months after vintage. This greatly influenced the perception of the region, that Beaujolais could perhaps only produce this style of wine: light and fruity with little tannin structure, acidity, complexity, and length, and definitely unable to age – in short, simple wine for immediate drinking.

However, the good news is that once you depart from the bigger producers you’ll find a range of much smaller wineries creating and experimenting with stellar Beaujolais that really bring out the best of the Gamay grape. Such as the stars of the appellation Jean Foillard, Domaine de la Grand Cour, or Marcel Lapierre -- who was one of the first producers to make wine without using sulphur -- and he encouraged a lot of winemakers around the world to do the same.

Beaujolais is beginning to be regarded as it should be – there are a lot of winemakers being drawn to the region and they are making wine in a way that truly expresses the terroir, such as Pierre Cotton and Lilan and Sophie Bouchet.

Beaujolais is well known for the appellations Brouilly, Fleurie, and Morgon, and we have created a tasting to show the very best examples of these areas.

This is our list:

 Jean Foillard Morgon-Cote du Py Beaujolais 2014 

Jean Foillard is a fervent supporter, like Marcel Lapierre, of the natural wine growing and making methods of the legendary Jules Chauvet.Furthermore he ages his wine in barrels brought from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti..... the results are sublime. He is a cult wine hero amongst the very many young, free-spirited vignerons in France who are now looking back to nature to make fine wine.

 

Pierre Cotton Beaujolais-Cote de Brouilly 2014

100% Cotton, 100% Gamay, 100% Côte de Brouilly, and nothing else, zero SO2. This is Pierre Cotton proving that courage and passion can reach great heights (up to 450m on a 45° slope).

Bauchet 'Sur La Root' Beaujolais 2013

Sur la Root is a beautiful example of what Beaujolais should be most of the time.soft, with the luxurious coating tanins of Gamay. There is lots of tanin there, but it is so smooth that it feels like velvet! Delicious.

Trenel Beaujolais Nouveau 2016

Nice exemple of Beaujolais Nouveau coming from Byodinamic vineyards. This is a fruity red wine, with character but in fineness.

Du Grappin Fleurie Poncie 2015

Native australian working for James Halliday at Coldstream Hills in Australia, Patrick Bize at Domaine Simon Bize in Burgundy and few vineyards in California and a few more around the world. He makes some incredible wine using grapes from Beaujolais and some Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

 

Paul Hervy