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2021 Côte-de-Brouilly

Nicole Chanrion
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If this wine was a stock, it would outperform the market every year—a real blue chip. From her hillside vineyard on the slopes of Mont Brouilly, Nicole Chanrion crafts delicious Beaujolais the traditional way, by hand-harvesting, fermenting with whole clusters, and patiently aging in large oak foudres. In investing, they say that past performance is not an indicator of future success, but it’s hard to argue with a track record that spans six generations.

Dustin Soiseth

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
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 The Region

Beaujolais

map of 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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Inspiring Thirst

A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117

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