(2017) From granite soils rich in large crystals, vines are 50 years old on average, and this was vinified traditionally (not using carbonic maceration). Beautiful ripeness is evident, and a liquorice intensity, though it begins to reveal a tiny floral lift on the nose. Weight and delicious persistence on the palate, with a sweet black cherry fruit and tartness of cherry skins, and that firm youthful finish. Price and stockist at time of review are for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) From vineyards on sedimentary soils with old alluvial deposits, again vinified traditionally and coming from 50-year-old vines. A smooth and intense character immediately, with greater intensity and meatiness compared to the Fleurie, but a soft and ripe red fruit character comes through too. Savoury, taught on the palate it is really quite grippy, its tannin structure and acidity adding to that sense of concentration and fullness. This might age rather nicely for several years. The most recent vintage I can find for retail sale in the UK is the 2010.
(2016) From one of the top Beaujolais Crus, this is an attractively spicy and black-fruited interpretation of Gamay, very focused, tight and mineral-flecked aromas that are firm. On the palate that's the story too, a chewy and firm core of tannins and acidity, underpinning savoury but extremely juicy black berry fruit, precise and shot through with energy. A lovely wine.
(2016) The soils of the single vineyard which grew the grapes for this organic wine are slate, with a high proportion of iron and manganese, which explain it's particularly mineral, dry, earthy and powerful appeal, so different to the general image of the Gamay grape and the fruitier wines of Beaujolais. Though there is cherry and plum, there's also a bloody, oxide note, dry earthy extraction and concentration, and a definite impression that this is one Beaujolais Cru that will cellar well and improve over 10 years or more. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2016) Described by Lautent as a difficult vintage with frost, hail and a very small crop. Pleasing delicate briar and meaty nuances to the quite solid black and red fruit. Fine sweetness and elegance of the fruit, quite charming with a touch of sappiness and an edge of endive bittersweetness and espresso, making it quite Pinot-like. Not so Beaujolais, but it is lovely.
(2016) When Laurent arrived, the wine from this Chateau was made in big old wooden vats, but to ensure quality and consistency Laurent changed those to steel, but matures the wines with 5% new barrels and 5% older barrels from Latour’s Burgundy cellars. Nice Beaujolais lift of violet and kirsch here, the oak not really evident. It jas real smoothness and elegance on the palate, a very orangey bright acidity, but a nice flowing and elegant freshness of red fruit.
(2016) Spicy and briary, there’s a nice lift to this, but not so much floral as spicy and a touch exotic. Very fine red fruit palate, with a real concentration of fleshy red fruits, a firm tannin background and lovely freshness with the acidity and bittersweet twist of cherry skins and plum skins.
(2016) More lift and fragrance here, a creamy and smooth cherry fruit and none of the earthiness of the Regnie for example. Lovely freshness and cut, more sappiness and freshness, arguably not as much fruit depth as the Brouilly, but I like the elegance and freshness of this.
(2016) From the home of Henry Fessy, where they have their largest vineyard holdings and their biggest cellar. There is an earthiness to this again and a small red fruit character. The palate shows plenty of orange and lemony acidity, plenty of fruit at the core, though fairly straightforward. Long with a touch of spice.