- Item #: i_353209Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93VINOUS 94 POINTS - "Bright, youthful purple. An expansive, highly complex bouquet evokes fresh, mineral-accented cherry and boysenberry, along with building floral and exotic spice notes. Stains the palate with sweet red/blue fruit, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Delivers a suave blend of richness and energy and finishes very long and juicy, displaying harmonious tannins, resonating florality and a late touch of earthiness."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Fleurie Clos de la Grand'Cour bursts with notes of raspberries, cherries, rose petals, cinnamon and blood orange. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, with a juicy core of fruit, ripe acids and melting tannins. Pretty, open-knit and fleshy, this was matured half in foudre and half in old barrels."
- Item #: i_346000Bottle Size: 750MLVINOUS 92 POINTS - "Brilliant violet. Mineral-accented red and blue fruits on the perfumed nose, which is lifted by a building spicy element. Juicy and energetic for the vintage, offering sappy boysenberry and black raspberry flavors that are complemented by a hint of candied flowers. Sappy and precise on the impressively long, gently tannic finish, which emphatically repeats the blue fruit note."
Lafarge, biodynamics, Gamay, granite – sounds like a match made in heaven n’est ce-pas? As if managing the Lafarge family’s iconic domaine in Volnay wasn’t enough, Frédéric and Chantal Lafarge decided in spring 2014 to embark on a new adventure a little further south. Still Burgundy but a new sector, a new grape variety and the inspiring Beaujolais Cru terroirs that come with it. What’s perhaps most beautiful about the new project is that the couple really wanted to invest in something together that would be entirely their own creation. This equal partnership is reflected in the inclusion of both of their names for the domaine’s title and on the label (Vial is Chantal’s maiden name).
The couple kicked off their venture by purchasing 2.25 hectares and winemaking facility in 2014. For this first vintage, they produced three cuvées – Chiroubles, Fleurie Bel Air and Fleurie Clos Vernay. In true Lafarge fashion, each one reflects its individual and specific vineyard origin. Frédéric and Chantal immediately began working all acquired vineyards biodynamically, with the same intention and detailed observation as for their Côte d’Or vineyards.
Following a few additional vineyard purchases, the domaine’s total surface area increased to 4.1 hectares for the 2015 vintage. This includes the acquisition of the gorgeous, high altitude, old vine plot of Joie du Palais in Fleurie. Here the steep slopes require horse-plowing, for which the Lafarges recruit Max, a beautiful gray horse who also spends time working Olivier Merlin’s vineyard in Moulin à Vent.
Frédéric is as giddy as a kid with a brand new toy – new terroirs to understand, new vineyards to observe and adapt his biodynamic methods to, and a new grape variety through which to communicate the combination of these complex elements.
The slight delay in ripeness between the Côte de Beaune and the Beaujolais allow the Lafarges to be fully present during harvest at both domaines for their first two vintages. The steep, gobelet-trained vineyards are hand-harvested and mostly de-stemmed, though there is up to 25% whole cluster in 2015. The couple prefers to stick to their traditional Burgundian vinification to ensure transparent terroir expression. Gentle extraction (with alternated punch-downs and pump-overs in 2014 and only pump-overs in 2015) and a relatively short élevage of 12 months in older barrels (228 or 350 liters) or foudres (30hl) is the rule of thumb for these Beaujolais Crus.
- Item #: i_353210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Fleurie La Tonne hails from a high-altidue amphitheater-shaped parcel that encompasses expositions from southeast to northwest. Bursting with aromas of rose petals, Griotte cherries and blood orange, it's medium to full-bodied and ripe but succulent, with melting tannins and an aromatic finish. Pretty and charming, it's a pity it will be the last vintage of this bottling."
- Item #: i_350314Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "From a northeast-facing lieu-dit with deeper soils than Champagne and Grand'Coeur, Dutraive's 2018 Fleurie Chapelle de Bois offers up aromas of wild berries, cassis, cloves and rose hips. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and succulent, with a delicate, open-knit profile and a light framing of powdery tannins. It's a delicious Fleurie that will drink well for a decade.
Jean-Louis' “sans soufre” bottling immediately overflows with soft, beautiful exotic red and yellow fruits that comfortably rest on fresh, striking acidity. It is the most charming and perhaps the least serious wine in the range only due to its shorter drinking window. Jean-Louis is candid about the need to drink this wine within a 6-8 hour period as the wine has a wonderfully high peak of drinking. However, without SO2 the wines loses a good portion of its charm the next day. It is a rare and wonderful wine.
All of Jean-Louis’ wines are made with whole clusters, zero extraction and natural fermentations. They are made from a combination of nearly perfect farming and zen-like observation. The elevage of this wine is 60% in stainless steel and 40% in futs de chene (barrel).
Terroir: Just on the north side of the domaine, this vineyard is on a gentle slope facing north. The soil is decomposed granite that is slightly deeper than most sections of the Clos de la Coeur; in fact, it is the deepest soil in his roster of vines. It is also the coolest site, thus rendering wines with greater acidity. This combination of higher natural acidity and a cooler terroir is the reason why he chooses this site to bottle a wine completely free of Sulfur.
- Item #: i_353212Bottle Size: 750mlVINOUS 93 POINTS - "Youthful purple. Expansive, mineral- and spice-accented raspberry, cherry and floral pastille aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a subtle hint of gaminess as the wine opens up. Stains the palate with sweet red/blue fruit flavors that display both depth and vibrancy. Firms up stealthily on an impressively long, floral- and mineral-driven finish that's given shape by smooth, well-knit tannins."
- Item #: i_353078Bottle Size: 750mlnever using synthetic herbicides or pesticides
The methods at Lapierre are just as revolutionary as they are traditional; the detail and precision with which they work is striking and entirely different from the mass-produced majority of Beaujolais on the market today. Decomposed granite comprises most of their eleven hectares, and the vines are an average of 45 years of age. Grapes are picked at the last possible moment to obtain the ripest fruit, which is a trademark of the estate style. The Lapierres age their wines on fine lees for at least nine months in oak foudres and fûts ranging from three to thirteen years old. These wines are the essence of Morgon: bright, fleshy fruit with a palatable joie de vivre that was undoubtedly inherited from their creator.
- Item #: i_350080Bottle Size: 750mlThe legend of Marcel Lapierre continues as his son Michael and daughter Camille perpetuate the greatness with purity, clarity and deliciousness each vintage. Here they have purchased fruit of 60 year old Gamay vines from Cotes de Besay vineyard in Julienas but the style will resonate with anyone who has enjoyed the Lapierre wines before. Fresh, lush extraordinarily easy drinking and satisfying Gamay at a very reasonable price. Grab it while you can.
- Item #: i_352027Bottle Size: 750mlBURGHOUND 90 - 92 POINTS - "Moderate reduction masks the underlying fruit but I doubt that it will last. Otherwise the succulent, dense and powerful flavors evidence a really lovely texture before concluding in a mildly rustic, serious and youthfully austere finish. This too is worth considering provided that you have the patience to allow it at least some time in bottle first. *Outstanding, Top Value*"