From a plot of 80-year-old Chardonnay vines grown on Charnay’s distinctive clay and limestone soils. This is an astonishingly good sparkling wine, made in the same way as champagne, with the second fermentation in bottle. Aged for two years on its lees, then hand disgorged, this is terrific value.
About the Domaine
Early in his career Jean-Paul rejected the industrial approach to wine making which was taking over Beaujolais and began making wine in ways his ancestors would have recognised. He began using only indigenous yeasts, eschewing 71B, the designer yeast popular in the region which is responsible for the banana and candy aromas found in so much mass-produced Beaujolais. He stopped automatically chaptalizing his wines and began to concentrate on drawing out the characters of each individual site. He totally de-stems the grapes from his Crus before fermentation and vinification begins with a light cold soaking followed by maceration for 10-12 days. Elevage is partly in tank, partly in barrel, depending on the wine and the nature of each vintage. In other words, more Côte D’Or than traditional Beaujolais. The results are Beaujolais of unusual density, but which are also beautifully poised, fresh and elegant and which reflect with great clarity the subtle soil differences and age of vines of each Cru. Parcel selection is key. The domaine owns old vine plots on the local limestone rich clays as well as vineyards on the granite of Moulin-a-Vent and Fleurie. Recent vintages have been tremendous, producing some electric wines which will age beautifully.