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Exciting things are happening in the Beaujolais: following the outbreak of terroir-driven natural winemaking inspired by Jules Chauvet and spearheaded by the likes of Marcel Lapierre and Jean Foillard in the 1980s, a new generation is now following in the footsteps of these early pioneers to make the region one of France’s most dynamic. Quentin Harel perfectly epitomizes this explosion of young talent, having recently taken over the family domaine in the town of Saint-Étienne-des-Oullières, just south of the Côte de Brouilly.
Quentin’s parents began farming organically long before the revival of sustainable viticulture that is sweeping through the Beaujolais today. Their Beaujolais-Villages vineyards have been certified organic since 1990, a time when neighbors looked down on the Harels as radical outliers to the standard of conventional farming. In the cellar, Quentin exercises a light hand with low intervention: vinification is traditional, via whole-cluster fermentation using indigenous yeasts before élevage in tank. He bottles unfined and unfiltered with very low sulfur additions, giving quintessential Beaujolais quaffers full of early-drinking charm.
With low alcohol, delicious high-toned Gamay fruit, and lovely floral aromatics, Quentin’s Beaujolais-Villages is a winner. One of the region’s rising stars, he has already proven himself in his short career, and we are thrilled to offer his just-arrived 2016 vintage.
|Vineyard:||7 to 70 years, 40 years average; 3 ha|
|Aging:||Aged 12 months in 70 hL cement tank and 20 hl enamel tank|
When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:
1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.
Inspiring Thirst, page 174