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)!