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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2017 Côte-de-Brouilly Nicole Chanrion is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.


2017 Côte-de-Brouilly

Nicole Chanrion

It must not have been an easy ride, but Nicole did it. Gone from an unknown young woman in a decidedly man’s world (Beaujolais of yesteryear) to the sage, ever-cheerful vigneronne the locals like to call “La Patronne de la Côte” (“The Boss of the Côte”). While nobody threw any spokes in the wheel when she began, most did look on with a bit of condescending amusement, waiting for what they believed would be her inevitable failure. And while many wondered in disbelief how a woman could possibly drive a tractor, much less make a decent wine, one man never had a doubt and offered nothing but unwavering support: Nicole’s father, Raymond. It was he who took her out as a young child to work in the family vineyard, who taught her at an early age how to taste and appreciate fine Beaujolais. Although it was neither imposed on nor planned for Nicole to take over the family vines and winery, once Raymond began to age and fell ill, she decided to step in for good, some forty years ago. Small in stature, strong in presence, she forged ahead and by 1980 was alone on the domaine and running the show entirely on her own. Since then, Nicole has been one of those rare growers who basically do a single wine but do it really, really well. Her vineyards are all in a big block, right behind her house on the volcanic slope of Mont Brouilly, from which she fills five large casks each year of bright purple, heavenly scented, juicy Côte-de-Brouilly. Year in and year out, it is tremendously reliable, fun, and age-worthy. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret. As you know, we have some heavy hitters and big stars in our Beaujolais portfolio, with earth-shatteringly great wines. And yet, when it comes time to put in Kermit’s orders for his personal drinking cellar here in France (where he could just as easily order many of the hippest, hottest wines of the moment), more often than not he simply requests a few cases of Nicole’s Côte-de-Brouilly. Upon arriving in France recently, Kermit checked in on what he’d ordered for his cellar so far. “Have I ordered the last vintage from Chanrion yet?” he asked. “Hardly anyone outside of her little village has heard of her, but she’s as good as anyone.”

It has been quite a forty-year trip—and it’s far from over. I raise my glass to forty more!

Chris Santini

$23.00
Vintage: 2017
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Gamay
Appellation: Côte-de-Brouilly
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Producer: Nicole Chanrion
Winemaker: Nicole Chanrion
Vineyard: 50 years, 3.5 ha
Soil: Schist, Porphyry
Aging: Ages for at least nine months before an unfiltered bottling
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13%

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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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Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.

Inspiring Thirst, page 236

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Warnings


Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol


Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa