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A rare and delicious Fleurie from Jean-Claude Chanudet at Domaine Chamonard! Since taking over from his father-in-law (Joseph Chamonard) in 1990, Jean-Claude has been keeping the beautiful natural traditions of this estate alive. This Fleurie comes from a single parcel of older vines planted on a steep slope of pink granite soils, farmed by hand without the use of any chemicals. 2018 is a great vintage for the Chamonard Fleurie, showing a deep dark red color and ripe fruit compote aromas - a lovely melange of cherry and black raspberry with violet and citrus notes. The palate is lush, with an earthy texture, showing ripe, well-structured black fruits and finishing with firm acidity and tart black cherry. This is superb now but should open up beautifully with a few years of cellaring. Drink until 2035? Highly recommended. David Lillie
Damien Coquelet, working in the same stlye as his step-father Georges Descombes, has once again created some beautifully old-fashioned Beaujolais in 2017. The Morgon Cote de Py shows lovely aromas of raspberry, strawberry, citrus and rose, very pretty and bright. The palate shows a bit more stucture and darker fruit than the Damien's Chiroubles, with sappy strawberry fruit, a bit of citrus and a more earthy character. The finish is refreshing and long with juicy berry fruit and firm acidity. Serve quite cool with chicken and white meats, grilled foods and charcuterie. Lovely wine.
2018 is proving to be a superb vintage for Beaujolais, with lush, vibrant fruit and nice brightness despite the slightly higher than usual alcohol - the Damien Coquelet Beaujolais-Villages is a beautiful example and just a joyful wine! The wine shows a deep bright red color and aromas of crushed raspberry and strawberry with violet and citrus notes. The palate shows ripe sappy red and black fruits, pure and bright, lifted by citrusy acidity, with a nice earthy texture beneath the lush fruit that lingers in the long juicy finish. Serve cool for immense enjoyment over the next three or four years! David Lillie
A relatively new offering from Georges Descombes, made from purchased fruit in organic/biodynamic farming. This is a beautiful Chardonnay showing elegant aromas of lime-flower, ripe pear and exotic fruit with almond and candied citrus. The palate is silky and beautifully balanced with ripe stone fruits, a bit of buttery oak and vibrant citrus and mineral flavors that continue in the long finish. This is a delightful white Burgundy that will accompany fish or chicken in sauce, white meats and cow cheeses - it's a tiny production and well worth trying. David Lillie
The 2017 Regnié from Geroges Descombes is a finely balanced wine, even in a warmer vintage, Ripe and generous fruit is offset with lively acidity and a vivid intensity on the palate that keeps this wine lifted and fresh. On the nose there are aromas of red and black currant, strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, rose, violets, and licorice. The palate has soft and finely integrated tannins and shows notes of strawberry and raspberry compote, cranberry, blackberry, pomegranate, orange peel, baking spice and a granitic minerality, especially on the complex and satisfying finish. This is a very versatile wine, and I wouldn't hesitate to pair with a wide range of foods, from roast chicken, to burgers or even a pork chop. It was equally at home accompanying the watching of a movie on the couch with just a little, hastily composed cheese plate for backup. A joyful wine for all occasions. Oskar Kostecki
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
Known for the Vignes du Maynes wines from Cruzille, in the south of Burgundy, Julien Guillot has had the chance over the years to take long term leases on a few vineyards south of Macon in the Beaujolais. Due to issues with frost and hail in 2016, and to the loss of a rental vineyard to an old owner who decided to tear out vines, this vintage of the "Climat" is a combination of grapes from Chenas and from a vineyard called "Pierres Bleues" which is near Villefranche. Chenas is all granite, and Pierres Bleues is limestone. The wines fermented and aged separately and were blended a few months before bottling. From what I percieve, there's hint of granitic spiciness from Chenas, and some lift and energy from the limestone site. There's lovely fresh rasberry fruit on the attack, and a very mineral, stony finish. Fresh and elegant at 12.5%. Eben Lillie
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 2018 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!
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 releases small quantities of this Beaujolais rosé each year, and it's always a treat. Strawberries, bright red fruit, and a tangy side that contributes to its joyful drinkability. The finish is mineral and crisp, with a very subtle tartness that keeps the impression of a flavorful but overall dry rosé. EL
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