Two natural Beaujolais

Two interesting expressions of Beaujolais, from a couple of the natural wine crowd. Beaujolais is a real hub of natural winemakers, many of whom were inspired by the late Jules Chauvet, widely recognized as the father of natural wine.

Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly 2007 Beaujolais
13% alcohol. A startling wine: fresh, spicy and a bit animal, with a tingly metallic finish, but also some lovely dark cherry fruit. It’s lively and quite elegant with a distinctive fruitiness. The Brettanomyces character that is affecting this bottle works quite well in this context; the wine is savoury and structured with lovely dark cherry fruit that can just carry the spicy, animal notes. 90/100

Yvon Metras Fleurie 2007 Beaujolais
13% alcohol. Brooding, spicy, dark cherry and plum nose. The palate is sweet, dense and rich with elegant dark cherry fruit and intense spicy notes, as well as hints of earth. Lovely fruit here: a dense but fresh style of wine, perhaps with a hint of Brettanomyces on the finish. Harmonious and stylish. 91/100

Both wines available from Les Caves de Pyrene in the UK, at a shade under £20.

4 comments to Two natural Beaujolais

  • Martin Jones

    These both sound to be interesting wines. However … is it just me or is ‘just under £20′ an extraordinary price for a bottle of Beaujolais?

    Maybe I’m getting old …

  • Doug

    Martin,

    Probably one shouldn’t see these wines as “mere” Beaujolais. The Brouilly is a single vineyard expression from 80 year old vines and fermented traditionally in big barrels rather than the more usual carbonic maceration. It is intended to age 10-15 years(longer than most red Burgundies). The Fleurie, also old vines, is similarly equipped. Both the wines are biodynamically farmed, the yields are extemely low and everything is done by hand. These are real wines in every sense.

  • Doug, as usual, is quite correct. Beaujolais has an image problem. It needs to reinvent itself. It is capable of greatness, and all the great Beaujolais I have tasted have been from the natural wine guys. With its heritage (Chauvet), Beaujolais is in a great position to reinvent itself as the region of natural wines, and get a good return in the process. These are wines that I’d rather drink (along with those from the likes of Foillard and Lapierre) than almost any £20 Burgundy.

  • Martin Jones

    I’ll bow to your greater knowledge, not least because I haven’t tasted these wines. And at £20/bottle it would be unlikely that I would be prepareed to take an unguided punt.

    The price still seems high to me, witness Jamie’s previous posting about ‘natural’ Beaujolais, made almost exactly a year ago

    http://www.wineanorak.com/blog/2009/07/amazing-natural-beaujolais_25.html

    At that time, £16/bottle seemed to be the consensus – a 25% hike in a year seems extravagant and more than likely to put potential buyers off.

    NB: the guy’s family name is Metras, not Metral.

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