Schools of thought are evolving in Beaujolais, especially in the Beaujolais crus, around semi-carbonic maceration versus a Burgundian style of fermentation using de-stemmed grapes with pump-overs or punch-downs to extract colour and tannins. To see if it is possible to begin to taste the difference between these two vinification methods, I conducted a tasting seminar.
Carbonic maceration and semi-carbonic maceration are not quite the preserve of Beaujolais and the gamay grape, but this is the region where the techniques reach complex and varied permutations. The process can produce vibrant, lively, fresh, and sometimes also very serious, wines.
This is a collection of essays, snapshots of Asher’s wine writing from the 80s and 90s, almost all in Europe, languid tales of wine and history and culture, with remarkable relevance, even insight, for today. Worth a read.
Château des Jacques has been part of the Maison Louis Jadot stable since 1996. Though not certified, certain biodynamic practices have been adopted as Guillaume de Castelnau revitalises the estate.
First generation winemaker, Julien Sunier is one of the new generation of producers doing excellent work in his vineyards, thus helping to revitalise the reputation of Beaujolais.
Julie Balagny, having spent ten years at Terre des Chardons in the southern Rhône, is renting 3.2 contiguous hectares on the remote, upper slopes of Fleurie, in Beaujolais. “I love gamay” she says.
Sweet, rich paradis.
Jean-Marc Burgaud has 13 ha in Morgon, 5 ha in Beaujolais Villages and 1 ha in Régnié, which is “the maximum for me” he said, adding, while “it’s always possible to grow bigger, it’s important to stay precise” and it’s that attention to detail that is reflected in his wines.
Having returned to the domaine in 2005 to work with his father, Mathieu Lapierre now runs this estate after the untimely death of his father Marcel in 2010.
Château Thivin is the oldest estate on the slopes of Mount Brouilly, in Beaujolais. It is now run by Claude Geoffray, father and son: Claude-Vincent the father, and Claude-Edouard, the son and sixth generation.