A few vineyards in Burgundy are named Charmes. The Charmes-Chambertin grand cru and Meursault-Charmes premier cru are probably the best-known, and there’s a Charmes vineyard in Chambolle-Musigny and another in Puligny-Montrachet. Charmes translates to—you guessed it—“charms,” and wines from these sites have beguiled enough drinkers that at some point the characteristic was enshrined in the vineyard name. Down in Beaujolais, the Charmes vineyard in the cru of Morgon is one of the highest sites in the appellation, topping out at about 1,300 feet. The microclimate there is slightly cooler than most of Morgon, and as a result the wines tend to be brighter, higher-toned, and a bit leaner than those from lower vineyards. We have two Morgon Charmes in our portfolio. Quentin Harel is a young vintner with a natural bent who has recently assumed control of the domaine that has been in his family since the eighteenth century. Jean Foillard is a Beaujolais legend who, together with his compatriots in the Gang of Four, helped redefine Beaujolais a generation ago. While their Charmes have similar vinifications—whole-cluster fermentation, élevage in neutral barrels, sulfur dioxide only at bottling—and express the qualities of this higher-elevation vineyard, they also highlight the stylistic differences between these two producers.
Deliciously earthy nose, like fresh-turned garden soil, that extends through the finish. Harel’s Charmes has tannic grip, but those tannins melt away when paired with a meal. The wine’s plainspoken, humble, rustic quality is immensely appealing and refreshing.
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