If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping a bright, juicy Beaujolais—the kind of red wine that seems to float weightlessly across the palate, releasing sublime aromas of fresh fruit, flowers, and sweet spices along the way—then you likely experienced the magic of whole-cluster fermentation. This vinification technique, in which whole grape bunches are tossed into the fermenter intact, rather than crushed and destemmed, is a hallmark of traditionally produced Beaujolais, responsible for creating wines that are so quintessentially, well…Beaujolais. The clusters are blanketed with carbon dioxide to set off a process known as carbonic maceration, in which enzymatic reactions within each grape essentially ferment the berries from the inside out, until they burst and continue their transformation the “normal” way—with yeast converting grape sugars to alcohol. Red wines made this way have special aromatic qualities, often presenting vivid florals and tender spices, along with particularly gentle tannins. Just to the south, in the northern Rhône, whole-cluster fermentation is also a common practice in the cellars of traditionally minded vignerons. However, carbonic maceration is rarely employed; instead, the Syrah clusters are typically lightly crushed so that fermentation proceeds with the grape stems alongside skins, seeds, and juice. Stem inclusion has its own impact on a wine, contributing woody, savory, or herbal flavors and an impression of freshness perceived as brighter aromatics and lifted tannins. Fermenting with ripe stalks—most often found in old vines, from grapes picked at the proper maturity, in adapted varieties including Gamay, Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Carignan—can add complexity and enhance a wine’s structure. The whole-cluster wines in our portfolio therefore range from carbonic quaffers bursting with fresh fruit to more structured, age-worthy reds bearing the trademark energy that stem inclusion can provide. Across many different regions and grape varieties, this technique has yielded wines of brilliant freshness and character, which we have compiled below for your enjoyment.
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The whole-cluster wines in our portfolio therefore range from carbonic quaffers bursting with fresh fruit to more structured, age-worthy reds bearing the trademark energy that stem inclusion can provide. Across many different regions and grape varieties, this technique has yielded wines of brilliant freshness and character, which we have compiled below for your enjoyment.
Ludovic Engelvin France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Gard
Mourvèdre and Grenache from a historic vineyard site give this elegant and profound red, replete with wild herbs, spice, and a chewy, stony tannin.
Guy Breton France | Beaujolais | Régnié
Savor it while you can, because your glass will be empty before you know it, leaving you only with the spicy, mineral-laden aftertaste of a bottle that went down way too easily.
Few wines pair better with grilled foods than a savory, smoky expression of Syrah. Additionally, its characteristic spice and assertive flavor make it a great partner to many dishes in Indian, Pakistani, Persian, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines, without forgetting its affinity to rustic French cooking.
Many of our best values, all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and even a couple of sparklers, made by real people and reefer-shipped so they arrive in your hands in nothing less than perfect condition.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
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Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa