EARTHY VIOLETS BLACK TEA
LAURENT SAILLARD LA PAUSE GAMAY 2020
PIERRE HENRI ROUGEOT MON PLAISIR PASSETOUTGRAIN ROSE 2019
LIVELY TIGHT FUN
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
A complex rose made from multiple sites throughout Burgundy. Mon Plaisir, is about as complex as a rose can get. Brimming with vibrant fruit, acidity and unadulterated pleasure.
From the Producer: In 2010, Pierre-Henri was granted creative agency at Domaine Rougeot, and oversaw wholesale improvements in the winemaking processes that are reflected in the quality we know today. Like his inspiration, Lalou Bize-Leroy, Pierre-Henri is passionate about working with a high percentage of whole bunches for reds and very little sulphur to champion and fully express the fruit. He buys grapes from well located plots with sustainable soil management practices, producing lower but healthier yields. The vineyards of his choosing all engage in organic or low footprint farming methods and his wines are made without oenological ingredients, preserving their regional voice.Pierre-Henri prefers to press both his white and red grapes using a modern version of an ancient vertical grape press. Although made with the latest technology, this unconventional press differs from the pneumatic, horizontal press preferred by most producers and produces higher acid extraction and greater clarity of must. The result is dynamic, complex and elegant wines.
Both reds and whites are matured in supremely balanced, artisan oak barrels where indigenous yeasts within the oak are allowed to work their magic. The superior barrels give grace and richness to the wines without overbearing oaky notes.
CLOS DU TUE BOEUF VIN ROUGE GAMAY 2020
LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
SUPPLE RASPBERRY JUICY
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Carbonically macerated Gamay - full force aromatics with a creamy-jubey punch. That being said, the Puzelat Brothers have also managed to coax out a herbal/henna note that gives this incredible Gamay a serious edge.
From the Distributor:100% Gamay. As for their entry-level white Vin Blanc, the Vin Rouge is made with sourced, organically farmed fruit from friends in the Cher Valley (the Puzelats' home turt in the Touraine). The bunches are kept whole and fermented spontaneously and carbonically with a short maceration and no sulfur. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks and bottled with a maximum of 20 mg/l of SO2. In 2019, this is a gorgeous juicy fresh wine, showing lovely round black raspberry and blackberry fruit, supple, sapid and refreshing, really a perfect thirst-quenching Gamay. There is never enough of this beautiful wine to go around, so don't delay. As always the glass is hard to put down as it should be and is a benchmark of which there are now many imitators.
Isolated from other agriculture, the vines of Tue-Boeuf are part of a mosaic of hedges and forests which make up a balanced ecosystem. While some vines are 115 years-old, the majority of the parcels date from the renovation of the vineyards in the 1960’s by Jean and Solange Puzelat. The Puzelat brothers began working in their family Domaine in the early 1990s, and at the heart of the operation is the 10-hectare family estate—the Clos du Tue-Boeuf—in the Cheverny appellation. Two things define the Puzelat brothers' rare wines: the diversity of their cuvées, and their tenacious work with nearly-extinct grape varieties that were common in the Loire not so long ago, but were put aside by the AOC for reasons having more to do with commercial simplification than quality and terroir. The vineyards are tended on organic lines (their father never used chemicals), weed control being achieved by ploughing, and grass planted to provide further competition. The fruit is hand-harvested by a large and willing team, many of them part of the extended family - perhaps not that surprising when you consider that Thierry and Jean-Marie are just two out of seven children.
Dead vines are replaced by tip-layering adjacent vines, an ancient method which avoids the over-representation of clones in the vineyard; it has the advantage of being very cheap, but the disadvantage of creating a vine which is franc de pied, on its own roots, rather than on a phylloxera-resistant rootstock.
Once picked the grapes are transferred to the winery and are fermented with minimal intervention; the whites are pressed and the juice decanted off and transferred for fermentation into cask, where the wine remains on its lees until it is bottled straight from this vessel, without racking.
As for the reds, whole bunches are fermented in open-topped 40-hectolitre wooden vats beneath a blanket of carbon dioxide, with pressing by foot once fermentation is underway. The wine is then transferred into casks where, like the white wines, they remain until they are bottled without further racking.
For small-volume fermentation's Puzelat also has some 30-hectolitre fibreglass vats and some smaller vessels. The cellars are temperature controlled, although the vats themselves aren't; the environmental control might help a little in damping down the fermentation temperatures though. Sulphur use throughout is minimal, with most wines seeing no added sulphur except perhaps for a small dose at the time of bottling.
SARNIN BERRUX GAMAY 2017
LINE FINE EXCITING
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Two mates making incredible Gamay from 90-year-old vines in Regnie, Beaujolais. In the early days Sarnin + Berrux were so keen to get the ball rolling they made their wines in a cellar with no electricity/equipment. However, today they reside in a small powered cellar in Monthelie. The wine is perfectly aromatic with a pleasant rustic edge.
From the Distributor: For two guys who were neither Burgundian or born into winemaking, Jean-Pascal Sarnin and Jean-Marie Berrux could have fooled us. In fact, when the two met in 2006, Jean Marie was only a few years into his winemaking career at a large Domaine. The two met simply as neighbours when Sarnin moved in next door to Berrux, quickly discovering a mutual love of opening good bottles over an apero.
Of course it’s always over a few good bottles that the best ideas are born. Being both food lovers and natural wine enthusiasts, they thought it was about time they tried their hands at making the style of wines they loved to drink. And so their winemaking story begins in the vintage of 2007.
The two took the concept of natural living to the extreme, making four white wines from the vintage with no water, no electricity and limited equipment. Slowly finding their feet (and some amenities), in 2013 Sarnin and Berrux took residence in Monthelie, in a suitably old Burgundian house, complete with ancient wine cellar.
However, life didn’t necessarily get easier for the two with the move. Committed to sourcing organically grown grapes was not an easy task in the region given the overall demand. Plus, not being from the region didn’t exactly help matters, so it took time and persistence for Sarnin and Berrux to finally secure the quality they wanted. These relationships are now cemented, with the two able to source from the same vineyards year on year: Pinot Noir (Volnay area, 60 year old vines), Passe-Tout-Grain (Morey-St-Denis, 70 year old vines), Bourgogne Blanc (Cotes de Beaune area, 35 year old vines), Volnay (50 year old vines) and Gevrey-Chambertin (45 year old vines). For the Gamay, the two source the grapes from the same grower in Regnié from very old vines of 80-90 years old.
With grapes secured, the focus from Sarnin and Berrux remains on making quality natural wines, wines that are alive, precise and well made. With a nod to the past, the wines are made using traditional and ancestral techniques, including natural vinification with just the addition of a small amount of sulphur (15-20mg/L) before bottling on most wines.
All wines are fermented in wooden tanks, and aged in 3-10 year old oak barrels for about 12 months, excluding the Aligote, with no fining or filtration. All white wines are aged on lees, without batonnage, with one single racking before bottling. All red wines are whole bunch (not carbonic), with pumping over and foot stomping during the vinification process.
In recent years, the Pinot Noir has transitioned from an AOC Bourgogne Rouge out of the AOC system. Like many natural producers, they have found it challenging to gain approval as their wines taste outside mainstream, standard Burgundy they are benchmarked against. It is for these characteristics that we love and are moved by these wines, they are wines made by wine lovers first and foremost.
MOUNT EDWARD GAMAY 2019
CENTRAL OTAGO, NEW ZEALAND
CARBONIC RHUBARB BRAMBLE
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
A richer Gamay loaded with simmered fruits, red licorice and a little stemmy flair. flavour-filled light slurpable red.
From the Producer: This is young Gamay at its best, destemmed, pure fruit, delicious acidity, with just enough structure and weight. Serve chilled or at room temperature, this is designed to drink now.
6 ha planted with 6, 10/5, Abel and Pommard the predominant Pinot Noir clones plus .5 ha of Gamay, Entav clone. Elevation is around 230m, GDD average 1150 and rainfall on average 400mm per annum. Soils: More fertile layers of loess in varying deeps, fans of clay and silt, some calcareous deposits; all over heavier silt layers towards the western ends. Schist rock and gravels towards the banks of the banks of the Kawarau at its eastern end. Wine Typicity: Spice, darker fruits and complexity, with well defined fine tannin structure
ROUGE QUEUES CELSIUS ROUGE GAMAY 2019
PRETTY PULP TANNIN
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Organic fruit sourced from Beaujolais. The Gamay spent a small amount of time going through Carbonic Maceration before being foot stomped. The resulting wine is pretty with a slight stemmy grip. An insightful expression of how powerful the variety can be.
From the distributor: Purchased certified organic Gamay from Beaujolais. 100% whole bunch, semi-carbonic maceration then foot stomped in tank. Ten months elevage before being racked to bottle. Humble, sensitive, generous, honest... there are so many adjectives that could describe Isabelle and Pierre Vantley, owners and vignerons of Domaine des Rouges Queues. I have met them and tasted their wines a few times on my journey and I have always liked the energy in what they produce.
Located in the town of Sampigny-lès-Maranges, this lovely couple farm six hectares of certified organic/biodynamic principal vineyards in Maranges, Santenay, and the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. These wines are an excellent representation of good farming in Burgundy and they have worked the vines without chemicals since 1998, date where they started the domaine. Showcasing unique, expressive character of the terroir that is sometimes lost in the bigger estates. These are pure, alive and raw wines crafted with loved by this avant-garde couple that do almost everything themselves.
Situated at the southernmost end of the Côte d'Or, they are relatively more affordable than any other famous appellations of Burgundy.
CHARNAY BEAUJOLAIS GAMAY 2020
FRESH PEPPER BRAMBLE
LEFT OF CENTRE / ORGANIC / 750ML
The Organic grape grower Thibault Charnay has finally made his first wine and it's a cracker. Sourced from his own small vineyard based in Anse. The vineyard is trellised on golden limestone that gives the wine a briny edge. In the glass, it is peppery, with red-berried compote, bramble tartness and chalky tannins.
From the Distributor After creating and running his own construction company for nearly a decade, Thibault Charnay returned to the family Domaine in 2012 to work in the vineyards around his hometown. He purchased a few additional hectares of vines, and today, he farms 12 hectares of Gamay on the classic Pierres dorées (golden limestone) around Anse in the southern part of the Beaujolais.
For many years, thanks to his ready access to tractors and other machinery, Thibault helped his wife Emilie’s family carry out the organic treatments in their vineyards. Inspired and nudged by his brother in law Raphael at Domaine Saint Cyr, Thibault decided to convert his own Domaine to organic farming in 2019, as well as vinify and bottle his own production (rather than sell it off to the négociants).
BAPTISTE BERTRAND PLEINE TETE BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU GAMAY 2019
UNDERGROWTH VIBRANT HAWBERRY
LEFT OF CENTRE / ORGANIC / 750ML
A robust example of Gamay. The fruit wasn't solely carbonically macerated so a darker edge is present. Undergrowth with salivating astringency gives a serious edge to this vibrant Gamay.
Sourced from Paris Wine Company: Pleine Tête is a shockingly simple and delicious Gamay from humble Beaujolais-Villages vineyards, situated in the shadow of the Mont Brouilly. Vinified in the semi-carbonic, vin nature style, this wine is a subversive wink to the vino-industrial complex that still dominates the Beaujolais. Baptiste designed his own label, inspired by the street artist Banksy's famous mural of a revolutionary preparing to hurl a bouquet of flowers, but of course in the Beaujolais, one must be ready to fight with Gamay.
It says Baptiste Bertrand on the label, but everyone calls him Bart. Located in Beaujolais, Baptiste farms 4.5 hectares of vines on clay-limestone soils around Charentay, a small commune that makes up part of a swath of Beaujolais-Villages vineyards between Mont Brouilly to the south and Morgon to the north. Baptiste originally studied ecology, with a specialization in environmental management and cartography. After working for organizations and nonprofits for a decade around France, he found himself back home in Beaujolais, where he spent three years managing a local project related to local vineyards. When that project came to an end, a friend suggested that he takes over some vines from a retiring winemaker.
Baptiste is the first producer in Charentay to be certified organic, and his wines are produced using simple traditional equipment and minimal intervention. The winery is housed in a large, century-old winemaking complex that a friend had purchased to renovate into several apartments, then offered to let Baptiste use the existing press room and cellar for its original purpose. Baptiste uses a small vintage wooden basket press for the crush, then all wines are fermented in large concrete tanks. Nothing is added except occasional doses of sulfur when needed. Most of the wine is aged in concrete, though a small portion goes into used barrels. In 2020, Baptiste began experimenting with fiberglass eggs.
GAVOTY LA CIGALE ROSÉ NV
GAMAY SAVOURY CHIRPY
ROSE / 750ML / 13%
A thoughtful rose produced on the Triassic Plateau made up of clay and limestone. A poppy Gamay based rose, that offers apple, silage and a shortcrust savoury edge.
From the Distributor: Situated in the village of Cabasse, fifty kilometres from Saint-Tropez, Domaine Gavoty has all the magic of Provence. Purchased by Philémon Gavoty in 1806, the Domaine remains a family affair under Roselyne Gavoty. Throughout the last two centuries, the Gavoty family has persevered, sometimes against the odds, to see their village gain the viticultural recognition it deserves. Cabasse now stands proud as an official part of the Côte de Provence appellation.
The vineyard is planted on the ancient “Triassic plateau” – a prime, clay and limestone rich soil layer. Some plots of vineyard are planted on challenging and rocky earth. This forces the Domaine to conduct most farming by traditional hand methods, meaning little has changed in 200 years of harvesting at Gavoty. The vines are sheltered from the most extreme Provençal weather by beautiful thickets of oak and pine forest. These old forests are integral to both the vitality and sustainability of the Domaine, stabilising the local climate and creating better growing conditions for the vineyards. But the extremities of Provençe are also key to what makes Gavoty wine so exceptional. The roasting summers and bitter winters mean grapes mature slowly. To endure, the vines are forced to find water deep within the limestone rich soil. This in turn brings a trademark minerality and freshness to Domaine Gavoty wines that embodies the region and consecrates the hardships of the climate.
Another of Domaine Gavoty’s delightful idiosyncrasies is not environmental but auricular! The family have a resplendent musical heritage including Bernard Gavoty (1906-1980) – a music critic for France’s “Le Figaro” newspaper who, mystifyingly, wrote under the English pseudonym “Clarendon”. Today, the Domaine’s top three cuvées of white, red and Rosé share this quirky, anglo nom de plume. The family’s musical heritage is also celebrated in their exquisite labels, which proudly feature the Domaine’s ancient emblem, a Grecian lyre. Roselyne Gavoty, grand-daughter of Bernard ‘Clarendon’ Gavoty, has now been at the helm of the Domaine since 1985. She continues a family legacy with humility, first class winemaking and a passion for this pocket of Procençal paradise.
PIERRE COTTON LES GRILLES BROUILLY 1500ML 2016
WILD TARTS GENEROUS
LEFT OF CENTRE / ORGANIC / 1500ML
The Grilles is a 1.5Ha vineyard located next door to the Cotton Cellar in Odenas. A richer style of gamay that is fermented in concrete and then aged in old foudres. A true cru Beaujolais with raw grip and aromatics swaying from light musk to strawberry tarts. Bloody delicious.
Sourced from the Paris Wine company: Pierre Cotton's family has been farming and producing wine at the same cellar in Odenas since 1856. Legend has it that the large chai, with its cavernous cellars, was built in the 18th century to make the wines for the nearby Château de Pierreux, and that over the years, it has housed a rotating group of producers.
Today, Pierre and his partner Marine are the sole producers to make wine here. After working for a short stint as a motorcycle mechanic, Pierre spent two years in the Loire Valley before returning to the domaine. In 2014, he reclaimed 1 hectare of Côte de Brouilly for his first cuvée - 100% Cotton. Over the next few years, he reclaimed another 2 hectares around Brouilly from the family holdings, purchased 1 hectare in Fleurie, 1 hectare of Regnié, and 1 hectare of Beaujolais, as well as planted a small patch of Beaujolais Blanc on a unique vein of limestone near the Domaine.
Inspired by tasting wines with compatriot friends Yann Bertrand, Jules Metras, and Keke Descombes, Pierre’s wines are all farmed organically and made without any sulphur. Vinification is semi-carbonic in large cement tanks, and then the wines are aged for 8-9 months in old foudres that range in size from 14 to 42 hectoliters.
In 2020, Pierre's partner Marine Bonnet officially joined the Domaine. Marine has a background as an agronomist specialized in viticulture, and Pierre and Marine now manage both the vineyards and winemaking together.
SAINT POURCAIN LA FICELLE GAMAY PINOT NOIR 2020
SIP BERRIES SLURP
CLASSIC / 13.0% ALC / 750ML
An absolute pleasure to drink, suitable for any occasion. Light notes of strawberries, rhubarb pepper grind and rosehip tea.
From the producer: A blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir, this fresh and fruity wine gives it a beautiful, fairly sustained cherry colour. Its nose is powerful, very fruity (raspberry), slightly spicy and peppery. The palate is tasty but also balanced and fleshy, is very fruity with an interesting length allowing it to pass the next summer happily. A convivial Auvergne wine par excellence which can be enjoyed as an aperitif, obviously with cold cuts and grilled meats, but also with Mediterranean cuisine. To drink chilled 14 ° C, during the year.
UVA NON GRATA GAMAY 2019
RHONE VALLEY, FRANCE
BOUNCY FUN LIGHT
CLASSIC / 750ML
The literal translation is 'the ungrateful grapes'. Gamay for a long time was considered a simple farm wine, hiding in the shadows of Pinot Noir. However, with improved farming and vinification Gamay has found its self with a glowing identity of its own. A light hyper aromatic Gamay, strawberry milk, fairy floss and roses.
LES BERTRAND CUVEE DU CHAOS GAMAY 2018
PLUSH COMPLEX LIVELY
EDGY / BIODYNAMIC ORGANIC / 750ML
An intriguing insight into how complex Gamay can be. Fruit forward, with wild herbs, henna and a rewarding rawness.
From the Producer: The average age of the vines: between 45 and 70 years. First vines worked on biodynamic principles (500, 501 ...) since 2012. Vines certified in organic farming. Cup size according to the lunar calendar to regenerate the wood. Alternating soil ploughing and controlled natural grassing. Association of plants for spraying (nettle, buckthorn, etc.).
Cold carbonic maceration (around 10-12 ° C in vatting) for 20 to 22 days, avoiding any handling. Without sulphur or yeast. 50% in a 600 litre demi-muid, 25% in a 300 litre barrel, 25% in a 225 litre barrel for 8 months. Old barrel of minimum 6 wines. Racking and bottling by gravity, without filtration, without sulphur and according to the cycle of the moon. Keep in bottle for 10 months before sale.
Since 2008, all nine hectares of the estate have been conducted using biology and, gradually, since 2012, using biodynamic. The soil is the basis of our work. On its good health depends that of the vine and the quality of our wines to come. Paying attention to it and understanding its microbiology remains, in our opinion, the best path to take to guarantee its balance and translate the full expression of the terroir.
The preparations play a fundamental role in biodynamics. In order to preserve a living and evolving soil and to promote the symbiosis of microorganisms of plant and animal species, we add “500” to our soil. These organic preparations made from horn dung are used in addition to a supply of compost. In spring, we alternate phases of tillage (ploughing) with spontaneous grassing. The goal? Favour endemic flora in order to let a part of "wild nature" take back its rights... In this vein, we continually seek to improve the structure and humus contained in our soil. To meet its nutritional needs, a supply of organic matter is essential. Using a methodology developed by us, we produce "homemade" compost invigorated with biodynamic plant-based preparations. All of the treatments are carried out by combining plant extracts (nettle, horsetail, buckthorn, etc.) and/or essential oils.
PIERRE-MARIE CHEMETTE LES GRIOTTES 2019
CHERRY BUNCH QUENCH
CLASSIC / 750ML
A serious Beaujolais that is still cheeky and light at heart. Grown on dark granitic soils, with carefully managed vineyards to keep yields down and wine complexity up! A charming Gamay with vibrant lifted fruits and a lovely stemmy edge that gives a sandy mouth feel. Very gluggable.
From the Producer: This Beaujolais cherrybomb is drawn from 20- to 40-year-old vines grown on dark granite soils around the homestead in Saint-Vérand (in southern Beaujolais). The winemaking here has remained unchanged for decades, with traditional whole-bunch, semi-carbonic fermentation in concrete tanks and then maturation in both tank and ancient oak casks still the order of the day.
As opposed to his age-worthy Crus from Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie, et al., Chermette's aim here is to produce something light-bodied, bright and cherry-fruited with reach-for-another-glass charm. So exuberant you could be tasting out of barrel. There's a gentle spicy complexity from the whole bunches matched by waves of crushed raspberry and spiced cherry. supported by mouth-watering acidity and silky tannins.
The late Marcel Lapierre once said of Beaujolais, “Ça se bois sous la douche.” (It’s a wine you can drink under the shower). While this captures the simple deliciousness of much Beaujolais, it doesn’t do justice to the wines being produced by the finest artisans like Pierre-Marie Chermette. Of the wines of Domaine du Vissoux we would be more likely to say, “Il est trop bon pour être bu sous la douche!” It’s too damn good to be drunk in the shower! Beaujolais can be the most joyful, compelling and life-affirming of wines. Yet in the hands of a master it can also be a wonderfully refined, long-lived Burgundy. Domaine du Vissoux is a producer capable of fashioning such wines. This is why their wines can be found in many of France’s finest restaurants and why Vissoux remains the highest-rated Beaujolais producer in the leading French wine guide, Les Meilleurs Vins de France.
Owners Pierre-Marie and Martine Chermette were among the first in Beaujolais to use sustainable agricultural practices, shunning the use of any chemicals in the vineyard and encouraging as much life in the soil as possible. They prune hard to keep yields low, harvest by hand when the grapes are fully ripe and regularly carry out ‘green harvests’ to further reduce the yields and ensure full ripeness for the harvest. The wines are made with minimal intervention: wild yeasts, minimal sulphur additions and no filtering if possible. Ageing is in traditional up-to-the-ceiling, neutral oak casks.
2009 was the vintage Beaujolais needed. Their ripe, fleshy personalities made the region sexy all over again. Everyone loved them. So what about 2010? Surely not? No it can’t be? Can it? Yes indeed! Another brilliant vintage for Beaujolais (and also a brilliant year across most European wine regions). Stylistically, much like Burgundy to its north and indeed the Rhône to the south, the 2010 wines are more pure, more fragrant, juicier and brighter than 2009 - somehow with more mouth-watering exuberance. Sounds almost too good to be true? Just like in the Côte d’Or, 2010 will be the vintage that many Beaujolais lovers prefer. Both are great vintages but the ‘10’s are just finer. It will come down to a question of taste.
The Wines: To get specific, the two Villages cuvees are pure and crunchy, smothered in lovely bright fruit. Simple, yet highly effective weapons of mass deliciousness. The two Fleurie wines combine explosive floral perfume with pure fruited seduction in the mouth; in 2010 they are the equal of the very finest Côte D’Or village wines. The Brouilly is the ‘meaty’ cuvee; full of smoky raspberry fruits with an uplifting, inky minerality. And last but certainly not least, the Moulin-à-Vent is intense and regal, its sumptuous, aromatic fruit sporting a structured Côte D’Or frame. It is both seductive and profound and ten plus years will not weary it. Without doubt the benchmark of the range and one of the greatest wines of Beaujolias!
Not only do the Chermettes produce outstanding Beaujolais from the crus of Moulin à Vent, Brouilly and Fleurie, but they also make some of France’s most highly regarded Crème de Cassis from their own fruit which we offer below. If there is a finer cassis made anywhere in the world, we have not tasted it. And now Pierre-Marie is producing some Crémant Blanc de Blancs which, as expected, is absolutely superb (otherwise he would not do it)!
BEL AIR LES GRANITS BLEUS GAMAY 2019
BRIGHT CRUNCH GAMAY
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 13% ALC / 750ML
The Domaine is situated on the lofty slopes of Bel Air, overlooking the capital of Beaujolais, Beaujeu. Since 2009 their vineyards have been organically tended. The ‘Granits Bleus’ is an excellent example of the serious side of gamay. A coil of carbonic driven red fruits backed up by weathered rock and a welcoming tannic chew.
Domaine de Bel-Air has a deeply rooted history in Beaujolais dating back almost 180 years. Somewhat poetically, the original estate house of the Domaine is perched on the hill of Bel-Air overlooking the town of Beaujeu, capital of the Beaujolais region. But despite this long history, the destiny of the Domaine dramatically changed in 1986 when Jean-Marc Lafont, current owner with his wife Annick, took over the estate. Jean-Marc immediately took a different approach. In 1989, the vineyards started to be grown without chemicals and since 2009 they have been grown organically. To have his vineyard’s soil develop a biodiversity is a vision Jean-Marc cherishes. This biodiversity is essential to elaborate distinctive wines, which are synonymous with the location at which they are produced. Under the watch of Jean-Marc, the Domaine’s holding has been consolidated to 23 hectares in total.Jean-Marc’s father worked at Domaine de Bel-Air and Jean-Marc grew up running around the vineyard and helping out where possible. He has strong memories of his childhood at Domaine de Bel-Air and still remembers the different aromas floating around in the winery from that time. It is that love affair and a deep connection that drove him to buy the Domaine and work as hard as possible to bring it to where it is today. You can identify that positive energy in his wines. Today, the Domaine has exceptionally old vineyards located in Beaujolais’ prime locations within the appellations of Morgon, Brouilly, Fleurie, Régnié and Moulin à Vent. Jean-Marc’s experience coupled with his natural curiosity, provide him with a profound understanding of his native region. Jean-Marc has seen the region evolve from the mass production of inexpensive wines to more terroir* driven wines of extreme finesse. What’s more, he has always led the charge to improve the quality of the wines by experimenting with new methods in order to enhance the limitless resources of the Beaujolais soils. From blue or rose granite to clay, manganese or schist, the variation of soils on the hills of the different Beaujolais villages brings fantastic diversity. The wines from Morgon, Brouilly and Fleurie are generous with vibrant red and black fruits, floral notes and spice. The colour oscillates from deep red to black and shows you how intense these wines are. An intensity that is very seductive and driven. The Moulin à Vent on the other end is more structured, spicy with some hints of violet and truffle when aged a bit. There are two special cuvées produced from two of the best vineyards of the Domaine with an average age of 80 years old that undergo oak maturation for 12 to 15 months. These two cuvées, Brouilly “Gorge de Loup” and Moulin à Vent “Granit et Manganèse” are examples of the capacity of certain Beaujolais vineyards to perform like a 1er or Grand Cru from Burgundy, its northern neighbour. These two cuvées can age for more than 15 years and be incredibly complex and impressive.