Les Bertrand, with Yann Bertrand
Beaujolais, Part 3
The young, big-haired Yann Bertrand works with his parents Guy and
Annick in Fleurie. He grew up here but never intended to follow
wine, leaving home to travel round the alps, where he ended up
working in wine bars and cavistes. It was here he discovered that
there's another side to Beaujolais: the wine geek angle.
to Beaujolais and got to know the likes of Foillard and Metras,
who became his inspiration, and he
began working with his parents in 2012. They were farming
organically (they'd moved in this direction after taking over the
domaine in 1992), but previously had sold juice to negociants. Yann
began farming 1 hectare using biodynamic principles, and also began
He now makes the wines of the domaine, working sensitively and
naturally. He's already made quite a name for himself.
The family holdings are 6.5 hectares in Fleurie, 1.2 ha in Morgon,
and less than 1 hectare in Beaujolais.
We tasted through some barrels, then had a look at the bottled
The grapes come into the winery, spend a night in a cold store, and
then are fermented using 100% carbonic maceration in large concrete
tanks. They stay there 25 days and then they go to small oak for
7-10 months. One of Yann's things is using old barrels that have
previously been used with other grape varieties.
Fleurie 2017 This is a blend of old vines 60-100
years old from sandy soils. Supple and bright with juicy red cherry
fruit. But there's a faint hint of rot here that I hope will
disappear. This was also present in a second barrel of this wine.
Fleurie Cuvee de Chaos 2017 Biodynamic plots 50 and
40 years old. Supple and bright with cherries, spice. Juicy and
focused with nice brightness. 90-91/100
Morgon 2017 Biodynamic, 1 hectare, with some schist
but mostly granitic soils. Fresh and juicy with vibrant cherry and
berry fruit. Really supple with good acidity. Really focused with
nice richness. 90-92/100
Julienas 2017 Like many in 2017 the hail meant that
Bertrand had to buy some grapes. This is from clay, schist and
sandstone soils. Vivid, rich and a bit sappy. Lovely weight here
with rounded fruit and nice spicy framing. Has a slight rusticity.
Negociant wine, again. From the schist soils at the top of the
appellation. Juicy, meaty, lively and bright with dense, vivid
raspberry fruit. Has some richness. 89-91/100
plot which he's been working for 3 years with very old vines, 40, 60
and 80 years old. 11000 plants/hectare. Granite subsoil with
clay/granite on top. Intense and vivid with lively, spicy, slightly
meaty edge to the fruit. Has density and focus with nice purity.
The we tried a Piquette. This is an old drink made by reusing the
skins, with a bit of sugar added. Wines like this would have been
typical for the workers back in the 1950s, and it's only 6% alcohol,
and a bit grippy, and really quite nice! A future for piquette?
Then some bottled wines.
Les Bertrand Pure Oh! Rigine 2016 Beaujolais, France
This is named after Jules Chauvet's first ever natural
wine, and has no added sulfites. Very supple, fresh and elegant.
Drinkable and juicy with red cherries, plums and fine spices.
Natural and lively, and very Metras in style. 92/100
Les Bertrand Julienas Pur Ju… 2016 Beaujolais, France
Negociant wine, because of frost losses. 12.5% alcohol.
There's some depth here. It's very fine and fresh with a bit of
grippy structure and some warmth. Nice focus with good acidity. Has
a nice depth of red cherry and raspberry fruit, with a slight
rusticity, but this fades with time. 92/100
Les Bertrand Fleurie Phénix 2016 Beaujolais, France
Negociant. From the top of Fleurie, with rocky granitic
soils, not sand. Very fine grained with raspberries and cherries,
and a supple structure. Has brightness. Nice fruit with good
precision and nice acidty. An elegant style with great poise. 93/100
Les Bertrand Morgon Bio Dynamite 2015 Beaujolais, France
13.5% alcohol. Powerful, intense and structured with lots
of weight, but not too much tannin. There's rounded, spicy black
cherry and blackberry fruit. Very stylish with good tannic
structure. Grippy and focused. 93/100
3, Yann Bertrand
6, Jean-Marc Burgaud
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