Tasted in Juliénas with Isabelle Pecoud, 15 February 2018.
Cave de Juliénas Chaintré
Château du Bois de la Salle
Tel : +33 4 74 04 42 61
The Cave Juliénas dates from 1961 – one of last to be created. For the last three years they have been associated with Cave Chaintré who make whites – for sales, the two caves share the wine that they produce, so are the only caves with a foot in both Mâconnais and the Beaujolais. For reds, this cave is the largest producer of Juliénas with 25% of the appellation’s production. They also have about 14-15 hectares of St.Amour – which has no cave cooperative – and lots of Beaujolais Villages from Julié. The cave has about 30 suppliers for the whites and 60 for the reds, amounting to 292 hectares – so a modest size for a cooperative, but still with a large product-line to offer visitors. There is some export from here, but about 55% is sold through négoce channels and the rest commercialised by the cave – a very high level of self-commercialisation.
Isabelle on 2017:
“Formidable! We’re very happy with the quality in this sector, there was dryness but the soil resists that well here. We almost made the volume which is quite rare this year in Beaujolais, the maturity was superb, we harvested at up to 14.5° and even the more altitude vines gave 12.5° We’re very happy and its also very Beaujolais with good fruit, not the muscle of 2015 and they are showing very well. Economically it is very important after the losses of 2016.”
Isabelle on 2016:
“Very complicated the sortie wasn’t great – let’s say average – then 2 climatic incidents for the reds – 60-70 ha of our vines were touched by the hail quite early in the vintage and it wasn’t the only time in the year. So we averaged 25-30% of a normal volume – late harvesting for the sector – 25 September. It’s also not easy when you harvest everything by hand, if you need a big team you can’t tell them to wait if you are not sure – they won’t wait. But the wines are accessible, not the complexity of 2015 but very classic – 2016s are not as rich as 2015 but they are very well-balanced and a good representation of Beaujolais – though I really love the 2015s!. It was never going to be easy to follow the 2015s, fortunately we’ve kept as much of those back as we could, to slowly push into the market to offset the low volume we have in 2016.”
The 2016s are on a very good level here – of-course less overtly impressive than the cave’s 2015s.
Three 2016s are currently available after the low harvest volume:
2016 Chiroubles La Montagne
Relatively modest colour. The nose is relatively modest today too – some higher tone but it remains quite guarded. Supple, wide nice energy and intensity – the isn’t giving up much but in the mouth this is very tasty with fresh intensity and a super weight and persistence of finish. Lovely.
2016 Juliénas Tradition du Bois de la Salle
A much more open nose – bright fruit and a little structural – but inviting all the same. Volume, with a more direct line of flavour, really mouth-watering, growing flavour – ooh this is good – it’s still structural and a little saline – but wait 6 months – Excellent.
2016 Chénas Tradition du Bois de la Salle
Wide width and depth of red-fruited aroma. Mouth-filling, a rounder wine but really there’s complexity of slowly mouth-watering flavour. More accommodating, it’s only in the finish that it opens out with more open flavour – delicious flavour.