Roland Pignard

Beaujolais New Arrivals and Old Favorites: Lapalu, Pignard, Dufaitre & More!

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 A fine bottle of Beaujolais is one of the great pleasures in the world of wine, and we're happy to have a fabulous current inventory on the shelves, both new arrivals and old favorites. After excellent, though quite different, vintages in 2009 and 2010, the following two years were difficult for the growers, with decent yields but constant battles with mildew and oidium in 2011, and horribly low yields in 2012 due to poor weather in the spring and early summer. Some very good wines were produced in 2011, despite the poor conditions, and 2012, although an economic disaster for growers, is turning out to be a year of superb quality. The alcohol levels are low to moderate and the wines have firm acidity, great balance and fabulous purity and complexity of fruit. Just the way we like them! (We should all be willing to pay a bit more for the lovely 2012s, especially for our favorite small, organic producers - it's really a matter of economic survival rather than increased profits for the growers.)  Feautured today are the outstanding biodynamic wines of Roland and Joëlle Pignard, the superb 2012s from the talented Jean-Claude Lapalu and, for the first time in the US, the lovely organic wines of Remi and Laurence Dufaitre...

Domaine Roland Pignard; Hardly a newcomer to winemaking, Roland Pignard took over the family estate in 1977 and turned towards organic methods in the late eighties. He sold off most of the estate to concentrate on better farming, retaining only 4 hectares, and received organic and then biodynamic certification. Vineyard treatments rely on biodynamic preparations, with minimal copper-sulfate, and all tilling is done by horse-drawn implements to not compact the soil. Picking is done by a crew of 20 (the same pickers each year - this is very important says Roland) and carbonic macerations are short, only 4 to 12 days depending on the cuvée. The wine is made without additives until a small dosage of SO2, 15 mg/L, before bottling. Our visit to their beautiful high-elevation vineyards in May (after an introduction by their friend Christian Ducroux) was an inspiration - the wines were superb with unique structure and acidity, the soils were obviously alive and well and we found Roland and Joëlle to be proud of their work, modest and delightful - we hope you try their fascinating wines!

Jean-Claude Lapalu is from a winemaking family that sold grapes to a coop. Jean-Claude took over in 1996 and now makes about 5,000 cases from 12 hectares of vines in and around Brouily and the Cote de Brouilly. An early convert to the methods of Chauvet he began making his wines withut added yeast, sugar or sulfites and has received organic and biodynamic certification. A special cuvèe in amphora has been produced since 2009. The 2012s here are outstanding, possessing an elegance and complexity that put him in the top ranks of Beajolais producers. "Asked about this vintage 2012, Jean-Claude Lapalu says that it was a long list of weather and disease related problems and they didn't get lots of grapes, but on the other hand, the remaining grapes allowed to make wines that are very refined, not with a big substance but very neat (droits), very pure." (from wineterroirs.com) They are not inexpensive, but given the high quality and the tiny quantity produced, we find the prices reasonable. Note: The 2012s for export received a small SO2 dosage prior to bottling.

Rémi and Luarence Dufaitre at Domaine de Botheland started out in 2001 in Saint-Etienne-des-Oullieres, just south of Brouilly. They've been helped along the way by Jean Foillard and Jean-Claude Lapalu and are receiving rave reviews in France. The 2011 L'Air de Rien is a complex and full-bodied Beaujolais-Villages made without added sulfur, and their 2012 Brouilly is delicate and delicious - we hope you give them a try...

We've added a few favorites from our current inventory - please consult our website for the full list. Please Note: All wines discount 10% on a case or mixed-case purchase!

 

No Longer Available

Pignard 2011 Beaujolais-Villages

From 40 to 60 year-old vines in high-elevation parcels above Morgon, not far from Christian Ducroux, certified biodynamic. This is a really lovely wine with delicate raspberry/strawberry aromas that carry through on the pure, light palate. Beautifully balanced with lingering fruit and distinctive mineral acidity in the finish, quite delicious! DL

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  • $16.99

Pignard 2011 Régnié

Quite different than the austere, intensely mineral 2010, the 2011 Regnié from Roland and Joëlle Pignard shows lovely deep aromas of red-currant and strawberry liqueur, with hints of cool blueberry fruit. Full and ripe on the palate but also light and refereshing at 12.5% alcohol and with ample acidity. The slightly bitter mineral acids linger in the finish with the berry fruit. This is an outstanding Beaujolais from beautiful high-altitude vineyards. Certified biodynamic, minimal SO2, analysis usually below 10mg/l total.

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  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pignard 2011 Morgon

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. Biodynamic farming, no SO2 until a minimal dose before bottling. A relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. This has lovely aromas of raspberry and violets, the palate is light and pretty with red fruits and citrus, very round but with great acidity and a terrific backing of stony mineral flavors. Softer and more open than the 2010, this should drink beautifully over the next 5 years...

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  • $18.99

Pignard 2011 Morgon Tradition

The Morgon Tradition from the Pignards receives a year of aging in old barrels before release, while the "regular" cuvee is aged for a shorter period in cement. The Tradition 2011 is a deep red/black color with ripe blackberry, red currant liqueur and floral aromas. Beautifully round and ripe red and black fruits on the palate with hints of earth and mint. Nice concentration but not at all heavy with firm acidity and moderate alcohol at 12.5%. This is a generous, full-bodied Beaujolais with layers of ripe fruit and mineral flavors — really lovely and a great value!

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  • $19.99

Pignard 2009 Morgon 1.5 L

We are very happy to offer the last stock of 2009 Morgon in magnum from Roland and Joëlle Pignard. A unique and delicious Morgon with aromas of tart plum, violet and black cherry. Deep meaty black fruits on the palate that become earthy and a bit sweet, then stony acids and a bit of ripeness on the finish. An oustanding Morgon that will accompany roast meats and charcuterie.

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  • $47.99

Lapalu 2012 Beaujolais-Villages Vieilles Vignes

From 50 to 100 year-old vines. Lovely ripe strawberry and cherry aromas, with dark fruits on the palate, earthy acidity and berry fruit in the finish. At 12% alcohol, it's balanced, light, pure and delicious. This is a wonderfully elegant Beaujolais-Villages that will drink well over the next four to six years.

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  • $23.99

Lapalu 2012 Brouilly Vieilles Vignes

("From vines his grandfather reports were old when he began farming in 1940..." says David Schildknecht. One would assume that the vines are over 100 years old) This is a superb, delicate but intensely flavored Beaujolais that is a real pleasure! Very complex and pretty aromas of bright raspberry,  and dried cherry with rose, spice, musk and earth. The flavors continue on the palate with darker fruits, blackberry and red-currant,that is light but dense and beautifully balanced at 12% alcohol, with refreshing acidity, saline minerals and a hint of anise in the finish. This will deepen with age, but it's so delicious now, why wait?

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  • $29.99

Lapalu 2012 Côte de Brouilly

The Mont Brouilly, a volcanic "bump" in the granite bedrocks of the Beaujolais, is a terroir of mineral-rich bluish rock with little or no soil, giving a quite different character to the wines. The Lapalu 2012 is from a one hectare parcel of old vines with northeast exposure, so late to ripen.  The fruit was 80% destemmed and 20% whole cluster carbonic maceration, with 10 mg/liter of SO2 added only before bottling. This is a quite different style than the 2015s, showing a lovely garnet color and bright, complex aromas of red currant, raspberry, citrus, rose, earth and spice. The palate shows vibrant red fruits, quite dense and complex and lifted by firm acidity. The finish is very long with bright red fruits and mineral flavors coating the palate - this is an exuberant and delicious Beaujolais that is beautiful now and should really sing in three to five years. Drink until 2027. Thank-you Jean-Claude Lapalu!

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  • $25.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Lapalu 2012 Brouilly La Croix des Rameaux

From a plot of 80 plus year-old vines, aged in used barriques. A bit lighter than the Côte Brouilly, showing lovely high-toned black raspberry, wild strawberry and blood orange — really complex and elegant. The palate has deep black raspberry and cherry fruit with bitter herbs, citrus and mineral flavors and fabulous length. Really a complete wine with lovely fruit, terrific minerality and balance, probably best 2018- 2023, but delicious now as well...

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  • $35.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Dufaitre (Domaine de Botheland) 2011 Beaujolais-Village L'Air de Rien

From a parcel of old vines near the winery, semi-carbonic maceration with long aging in old barrels and tank, no added SO2. Opaque, dark color; deep, meaty black cherry, violet and earth aromas, a hint of clove. Minty black cherry, citrus earth and spice on the palate, dense but cool and balanced with good acidity with a touch, but not too much, of volatility. A complex and satisfying "natural" Beaujolais, best with a nice piece of Charolais beef....

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  • no discount
  • $16.99

Dufaitre (Domaine du Botheland) 2012 Brouilly

The Dufaitre 2012 Brouilly is subtle and lovely wine. Slight reduction; with air the aromas are pretty high-toned raspberry and tart cherry with hints of violet and citrus. The palate has nice density without weight, with ripe raspberry and red-currant, blood orange and spice with terrific length. Really an elegant and perfectly balanced wine that's delicious now, probably best in 2 to 5 years. 13% alcohol, 25 mg/L total SO2. Bravo to Rémi and Laurence Dufaitre!

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  • $24.99

Balagny 2011 Fleurie Carioca

Julie Balagy's name is often connected in conversation with that of the legendary Yvon Métras in Fleurie. In fact Métras helped her to find her vineyards when she moved from the Languedoc to the Beaujolais and her style certainly resembles his in some ways. Balagny has a tiny Domaine of about three hectares that she works manually. In the cellar she prefers cold carbonic maceration with stems resulting in a dark, fruit-forward Fleurie with the tell-tale purple flower characteristics of Fleurie on the nose and palate. There is some structure to the wine that becomes quite supple with time, opening up to reveal sleek, pretty Gamay fruit. -msb

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  • $23.99

Descombes, Georges 2010 Morgon Cote de Py Vieilles Vignes

Deep aromas of blackberry and strawberry confit with herbal and citrus notes continue on the deep but bright palate, which is complex and very long, finishing with fruit liqueur and good acidity. This is certainly one of the top wines of the vintage and will benefit from mid-term aging. (Last of stock — don't miss this beautiful wine...)

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  • $34.99

Savoye, Pierre 2007 Morgon Côte du Py Vieilles Vignes

"From vines averaging sixty years of age on the Cote de Py, the Savoye 2007 is an austere and structured Beaujolais showing the mineral flavors and acidity of the granite soils. Not a fruit-bomb, this wine of terroir will benefit from decanting or an additional 5 to 10 years of aging." We wrote that three years ago and we're happy to report that the 2007 Cote de Py Vieilles Vignes is already drinking beautifully — still not a fruit-bomb, but with a lovely velvety quality to the strawberry/cherry fruit and more delvelpoed aromas. Serve cool with a steak or chop. DL

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  • $18.99

Vionnet 2011 Chiroubles Vin de Kav

This is a juicy and delicious Chiroubles from the affable and talented Karim Vionnet, who worked with Guy Breton for many years. From high density old-vine parcels in Chiroubles, farmed organically, with plowing. Vinified without added yeasts, sugar or sulfur. A small dosage of sulfur (10 mg/L) was added at the bottling for the 2011s. The fruit is lovely and quite complex, floral and ripe,almost a confit of red currant/strawberry/cherry with nice acidity and good length. Juicy, but structured and balanced. Not for long keeping perhaps, but quite enjoyable over the next few years

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  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Vionnet 2011 Moulin-à-Vent

Karim's first vintage from a new 1.5 hectare parcel near Romanèche. Aromatically very complex with a melange of strawberry, plum and cherry fruit, really unusually pretty for a Moulin-à-Vent. The palate is round with plum and cherry continuing on the long finish. A lovely wine, delicious now and over the next five to eight years. Organic vineyard work and minimal sulfur.

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  • $23.99

Coudert (Clos de la Roilette) 2012 Fleurie Cuvée Tardive

From eighty year-old vines on clay and granite soil. By "Tardive," Alain Coudert implies that one should wait for this wine to mature, in this case probably about 5 to 7 years, although those unable to wait will certainly enjoy drinking it now. Deep aromas of meaty blackberry and strawberry confit, violets and mint. Intense palate of berry liqueur, plum, stone and earth with fabulous length and firm, even slightly bitter acids. Earthy fruit coats the palate in the finish — ripe but balanced at 13% alcohol. This will be a great mature wine, perhaps best between 2020 — 2025. We're opening this up for case sales, so don't delay as there is no additional inventory in France.

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  • $25.99