October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
Cédric Chignard’s seventy-year-old vines in the Beauvernay vineyard of Juliénas enjoy excellent exposure at high elevation, constantly whipped by cool winds. The soil here is not the granite that dominates the crus of Beaujolais, but a hard blue stone of volcanic origin also found on the Côte de Brouilly. Cédric fermented the wine naturally, aged it in foudres, and bottled without filtration, so this peculiar and unique terroir shines through in full earnest: lean, breezy, and crunchy—quite drinkably so, I might add.
|Winemaker:||MIchel & Cédric Chignard|
|Vineyard:||> 60 years|
|Aging:||Aged in old foudres (large oak barrels) for 13 months|
Michel Chignard is a modest man, kind and courteous, but in every aspect of his winemaking one clearly sees a passionate perfectionist. In 2007 Michel turned the management of the family domaine over to his son Cédric, who is carrying on this philosophy with great pride and has already managed to prove himself in his first few vintages. The Chignard family is also blessed with vineyards in one of the best sites of the Fleurie appellation, Les Moriers which makes a light and playful wine, with deep, ripe fruit and finesse. They have also recently started making wine from another Beaujolais cru, Juliénas, which produces a beautiful, high-toned wine in keeping with the style of the domaine.
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.