- Item #: i_345413Bottle Size: 750MLAnthony Thevenet’s interpretation of Beaujolais is a unique combination of wines from decades past and today’s trend of voluptuously fruity, early-drinking renditions with a serious edge. Anthony’s vineyard work is done strictly under organic culture. There are no treatments in their vineyards aside from copper and sulfur—both legal for organic and biodynamic farming, and accepted practices in the natural wine community; the reality is that if people in Europe didn’t spray copper or sulfur in their vineyards they wouldn’t have any grapes at all.
- Item #: i_346000Bottle Size: 750MLLafarge, 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_351579Bottle Size: 750mlORGANIC -Semi-carbonic maceration with no added sulfer and natural yeast. Vinification occurs in concrete before aging in a combination of stainless steel, neutral Burgundy barrels and demi-muid for 6 months. Wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal SO2 added. Fruit for the 2017 Chiroubles comes from 70 year old parcels, vinified semi-carbonically. Concentrated and balanced, full of lively dark fruit and age-worthy potential.
- Item #: i_350314Bottle Size: 750mlJean-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_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*"