Ducroux vines July 2019 (Photo: E. Lillie)

The Beautiful Natural Wines of Christian Ducroux: 2019 "Prologue," Plus a Few From the Basement!

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Just arrived is Christian Ducroux' glorious 2019 Vin de France "Prologue!"  This superb "nouveau" comes mostly from a separate high altitude parcel always giving a beautifully low-alcohol wine that is fabulously delicious and refreshing. "Faites des vins peu alcoolisés avec un joli parfum" said Jules Chauvet (Make wines low in alcohol and with lovely aromas) and no one does this better than Christian - the 2019 Prologue weighs in at 11% alcohol despite the extra ripeness of what is shaping up to be another excellent vintage in Beaujolais, and shows a fairly dark red/purple color with lush aromas of crushed raspberry, strawberry and blackberry mixed with violet petal and hints of citrus peel and nutmeg. The palate is lush, bright and supple with ripe black raspberry, citrus, licorice, earth and mineral flavors. As with the 2018, the 2019 Prologue is a vibrant, very alive and simply beautiful wine that takes you into the soils of Ducroux' vineyards and is a tonic for the soul. Zero added sulfur, keep cool - highly recommended for lovers of natural wines! (Yes, case quantities are avilable!) 

Christian's notes on the vintage:  "For the second year in a row, no problems of climat, thus a good harvest with beautiful maturity, with a bit less alcohol than 2018. The drought continues, requiring a different approach to the vineyard work, and 250 bushes of different types were planted between the trees in the vineyard." (About ten years ago, every sixth row of vines was replaced by a row of different varieties of fruit trees.)

Fruit trees between the vines (photo E. Lillie)

Christian Ducroux needs no introduction to CSW customers - since importing his 2009s we have been writing incessantly about Christian's dedication to the health of his vineyard soils through the most thoughtful and uncompromising organic/Biodynamic viticulture that we have ever encountered. His "Exspectatia" is now recognized as one of the very finest wines of Beaujolais, particularly by those who have experienced the wine after five to eight years of cellaring.

Christian'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.  (This is regenerative agriculture at it's finest!) The vineyard is almost entirely self-sufficient, with horse and bull-power and natural fertilizers made on the farm. Rot and mildew are controlled by natural sprays, as Christian seeks to reduce or eliminate the use of the permitted organic sulfur and copper solutions. Even in mid-winter, a walk through his vines shows the benefits of a living soil, moist and teeming with life, unaffected by the erosion and sickness of the vineyards around him. Christian is a modern "paysan" whose work may seem unrealistic, and yet he points the way towards a more sane agriculture which can be adapted to a larger scale.

With Eben Lillie
Christian with his son Thibault

Ducroux 2019 Vin de France Prologue (Arrives Tues 1/21)

Christian Ducroux' 5 hectare  estate has been organic and biodynamic since 1985, and has operated as a nearly self-sufficient farm, producing its own fertilizer and compost, and plowing and harvesting almost entirely without machinery. The vines average over 60 years of age and are replaced by massale selection, giving extremely low yields and low levels of alcohol. Christian's farming is among the most thoughtful and inspired practiced anywhere in the world and his wines express this work in a joyful natural way. "Faites des vins peu alcoolisés avec un joli parfum" said Jules Chauvet (Make wines low in alcohol and with lovely aromas) and no one does this better than Christian - the 2019 Prologue weighs in at a  11% alcohol despite the extra ripeness of what is shaping up to be another excellent vintage in Beaujolais, and shows a fairly dark red/purple color  with lush aromas of crushed raspberry, strawberry and blackberry mixed with violet petal and hints of citrus peel and nutmeg. The palate is lush, bright and supple with ripe black raspberry, citrus, licorice, earth and mineral flavors.  As with the 2018, the 2019 Prologue is a lively, very alive and simply beautiful wine that takes you into the soils of Ducroux' vineyards and is a tonic for the soul. Zero added sulfur, keep cool - highly recommended for lovers of natural wines!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Ducroux, Christian 2017 Vin de France Exspectatia

Christian Ducroux' 5 hectare  estate has been certified organic and biodynamic since 1985, and has operated as a nearly self-sufficient farm, producing its own fertilizer and compost, and plowing and harvesting almost entirely without machinery. The vines average over 60 years of age and are replaced by massale selection, giving extremely low yields. Tasted on arrival in NY, the 2017 Exspectatia (the wine formerly known as Régnié) shows a bright red/black color, with aromas of ripe black raspberry, cherry, spice, rose, licorice and citrus. The palate shows bright raspberry and blackberry fruit, earth, mineral and leafy flavors with a tight, long earthy finish. This fascinating natural wine is quite delicious now, but best to wait a few months - and a cellaring of five to ten years should be very interesting. Bravo to Christian for his beautiful farming and for this complex, expressive natural wine! This is a living, changeable and profound wine of terroir - certainly one of the finest natural wines of France.(Decanting advised, no added sulfur - consume on the day opened.)

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Ducroux 2017 Vin de France Patience

(Tasted from barrel January 2018) Deeper, dark fruits than the 2017 Exspectatia, more tannin, a bit "animal" - "a ittle Brett in this barrel" said Christian, smiling, but still delicious and with great depth and minerality. Needs time. A 2010 tasted recently showed beautifully. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Ducroux 2018 Vin de France Esquisse Rosé

(Tasted from barrel and vat, January 2019) Lovely light pink/red color, pretty red currant, raspberry fruit, ripe, bright and earthy. Delicate and ethereal, slightly funky, yum...! 

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Ducroux 2015 Vin de France Patience 1.5 L

We recommend holding this for another three to five years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $47.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur