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2015 Beaujolais-Villages “Marylou”

Guy Breton

2015 Beaujolais-Villages “Marylou” Guy Breton - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Petit Max is known for producing the most easy-drinking wines of Beaujolais’ Gang of Four. The 2015 Marylou must be the ideal example. Its flirty ruby color and subtle fruit on the nose hint at the thirst quenching to come, but that first airy sip is what makes you want to guzzle in a way totally inappropriate to winedrinking etiquette. What am I saying? It’s Beaujolais. There are no rules. Tuck in that pinky and gulp this one down to your heart’s delight. –Emily Spillmann

Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Beaujolais-Villages
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Guy Breton
Winemaker: Guy Breton
Vineyard: 45 years, 2.5 acres
Soil: Granite, Rocks
Aging: Wines are aged on fine lees in Burgundian barrels
Farming: Organic
Alcohol: 12.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Beaujolais

After years of the region’s reputation being co-opted by mass-produced Beaujolais Nouveau and the prevalence of industrial farming, the fortunes of vignerons from the Beaujolais have been on the rise in the past couple of decades. Much of this change is due to Jules Chauvet, a prominent Beaujolais producer who Kermit worked with in the 1980s and arguably the father of the natural wine movement, who advocated not using herbicides or pesticides in vineyards, not chaptalizing, fermenting with ambient yeasts, and vinifying without SO2. Chief among Chauvet’s followers was Marcel Lapierre and his three friends, Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, and Jean-Paul Thévenet—a group of Morgon producers who Kermit dubbed “the Gang of Four.” The espousal of Chauvet’s methods led to a dramatic change in quality of wines from Beaujolais and with that an increased interest and appreciation for the AOC crus, Villages, and regular Beaujolais bottlings.

The crus of Beaujolais are interpreted through the Gamay grape and each illuminate the variety of great terroirs available in the region. Distinguishing itself from the clay and limestone of Burgundy, Beaujolais soils are predominantly decomposed granite, with pockets of blue volcanic rock. The primary vinification method is carbonic maceration, where grapes are not crushed, but instead whole clusters are placed in a tank, thus allowing fermentation to take place inside each grape berry.

Much like the easy-going and friendly nature of many Beaujolais vignerons, the wines too have a lively and easy-drinking spirit. They are versatile at table but make particularly good matches with the local pork sausages and charcuterie. Though often considered a wine that must be drunk young, many of the top crus offer great aging potential.

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For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.


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