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Domaine Les Roches Bleues has to be one of the most appropriately named domaines. The large blue rocks of Les Roches Bleues are much in evidence amongst the vines, perched high up on the south-facing slopes of Mont Brouilly. The view is spectacular, but so too is the exposition and terroir of this, one of the most mineral and age-worthy styles of Cru Beaujolais.
It is the engaging and energetic Christiane who takes great delight in showing you round and offering you a tasting of some of their older vintages. It is a perfect spot to take in the magnificent view on a sunny day, glass of lightly chilled Beaujolais in hand.
Our exclusive Cote de Brouilly is a classical Cru Beaujolais with layers of concentration, complexity and with an ability to age. Part fermented using macération carbonique techniques for imparting extra fruitiness and part aged in used barrels for eight months, our Côte de Brouilly Des Lys is deep purple/ruby in colour with an attractively fresh nose of summer fruits, spice and minerals. This follows through on the palate with juicy black and red fruit flavours, vanilla spice and smooth supple tannins. It will provide excellent drinking over the coming three to five years. A perfect accompaniment to braised beef, Bayonne ham or spicy sausages.
The Lacondemine’s superb Brouilly comes from younger vines grown on a mix of granitic and sandy soils. It a more supple, open and forward style of wine, particularly from warm vintages. On the nose and palate it exhibits dark cherry and summer pudding fruit and the tannins are sweet, smooth and supple. It’s a fine example of Cru Beaujolais that can be lightly chilled and drunk on it’s own or partnered with charcuterie, casseroles and roast pork. Drink within 3-4 years.
Cru Beaujolais is becoming increasingly popular, due in part to recent successful vintages, but also due to the style of the wine – which now seems to be back in vogue! Morgon is one of the biggest and most famous of the Crus and is geologically different with a terrain of crumbling rocks and schist rich in iron oxides. This tends to give the wines of Morgon real substance; they can be some of the most concentrated of all the Crus, with excellent structure and full flavours of cherry fruit and minerals.
Bernard Collonge and his son Thomas make exemplary examples; fruity, juicy and concentrated in youth and yet having the ability to age and gain layers of complexity over time.
Our Morgon La Roche-Briday is opaque purple/ruby in colour with an open nose of fresh autumn fruits, cherry stone and a sprinkle of pepper. In the mouth it is fresh and vibrant with ripe, noticeable tannins and lingering flavours of raspberry, cherry fruit and tangy apricot. The finish is powerful and mineral with a soft, fleshy feel at the end. It will develop nicely over 2-5 years. Try this lightly chilled with lamb tagine with dates, prunes and apricots for an unexpectedly delicious match.
Our Moulin-à-Vent, known as the ‘King of Beaujolais’ for its power, structure and longevity, comes from a small vineyard plot at the foot of the windmill itself. The vines are very densely planted in mineral-rich soils and average 50 years of age, bestowing power and concentration.
It has been aged for ten months in barriques. It is almost opaque, deep in colour and has a delightfully perfumed nose of black cherry, cassis and liquorice. The palate is fresh and juicy with powerful flavours of blackcurrant, cherry, minerals and vanilla. Drink within 5 years with roast pork, spicy sausages or beef casserole.
We have been working with the eminently likeable Deprès family at Domaine de la Madone now for well over a decade. Year in year out, they produce classic, fragrant Fleurie with concentration and complexity coming from old vines.
Their domaine occupies a majestic position high up within the appellation and the views are magnificent. From here, on a clear day, one can see all ten Beaujolais Crus! Adjacent to the famous chapel of the Madonna, you look down over a natural amphitheatre of vines that lap up every ounce of sunlight available. The hilly terrain is very varied – offering a myriad of soil types and different exposures for the Gamay vines to enjoy.
Fleurie Vieilles Vignes 2007
Fleurie Vieilles Vignes 2009
Fleurie Vieilles Vignes 2010
Fleurie Niagara 2009
Our Vieilles Vignes comes from vines over 70 years old and has undergone classic Cru Beaujolais winemaking. After careful extraction and maceration, fermentation using a mixture of whole berries and de-stemmed fruit took place in both stainless steel and concrete vats. A small amount of fruit underwent classic carbonic maceration, helping to impart fresh aromatics and soft, fruity flavours for which Gamay is renowned.
Our Fleurie is a medium deep ruby in colour with appealing aromas of iris, red fruit and violet followed by smooth, luscious flavours of dark cherry and raspberry fromage frais. It is bursting with energy and the attractive summer fruits are wrapped in juicy, velvety tannins. Drink within 5 years.
Niagara is the highest vineyard in Fleurie, named in 1911 after an enormous pylon that was erected there. The pylon was so big that the locals called it Niagara after the Canadian falls, and it was designed to quell potential hailstorms before they harmed the young buds on the vine. It wasn’t particularly effective by all acounts but it has retained its name in local folklore. The wine from this vineyard is solely produced by son Arnaud. It s attractively fruity and aromatic with delicious summer fruit flavours and smooth tannins. Drink within 4 to 5 years.
The hotels, chambres d’hôtes and gîtes we recommend in Beaujolais are all personally known to us and are where we stay when we visit our winemakers. They have been selected because they are convenient for the vineyards, offer a warm welcome and provide good value for money within their category.