October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
Aged Beaujolais is not an oxymoron, a subtle dig like “good British food,” perpetuated by the “I don’t like Beaujolais because I’ve only had Beaujolais Nouveau” crowd. Burgundy-like in its elegance yet without the aged Burgundy price, it is dark ruby, deeply enveloping and silken-textured, and loaded with blackberries, bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, and spice. Perfect with almost any dish and just reaching the peak of its powers, this is a hardworking wine made by a hardworking woman, with complexity and vitality that defy expectation. Gamay doubters, take note!
|Vineyard:||50 years, 3.5 ha|
|Aging:||Ages for at least nine months before an unfiltered bottling|
When Nicole Chanrion began her career in the 1970s, convention relegated women to the enology labs and kept them out of the cellars. But with six generations of family tradition preceding her, she would not be deterred from her dream of becoming a vigneronne. Ever since taking over the family domaine in 1988, she works all 6.5 hectares entirely by herself, from pruning the vineyards and driving the tractors to winemaking and bottling, all without bravado or fanfare. Nicole makes traditional Beaujolais: hand harvesting, whole cluster fermentation, aging the wines in large oak foudres for at least nine months, and bottling unfiltered. The resulting wines are powerful, with loads of pure fruit character and floral aromas.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171