Tasted in Salles-Arbuissonnas en Beaujolais with Franck Large, 12 February 2019.
Domaine du Breuil
Rue du Breuil
69460 Salles-Arbuissonnas en Beaujolais
Tel: +33 4 74 60 51 00
Franck on 2018:
“Quite an easy year – a wet spring – so like everyone I was worried about maladies – but we got through that and from 15 June, dry, dry, dry – almost a little worry for the dryness but we got through that too. Not quite a full rendement, but nicely ripe grapes – starting to harvest 4 September. I’ve tasted a few wines of colleagues and they seem excellent. A little more volume in 2018 but I also find them more harmonious and open.”
Franck on 2017:
“The 2017 harvest was at the start of September – we had a great summer but had to be patient because the grapes didn’t develop colour due to the dryness, but eventually rain came – about 30mm – it was just what we needed. Here was about 35 hl/ha – so about 40% less than normal. But it’s only a small vintage from the perspective of quantity! . We were not frosted but there was a cold spell that seemed to affect our flowering – for that reason not a lot more than half a harvest. Then, like 2018, it was very warm again which concentrated the grapes – so the wines are concentrated and structured – they need a little time.”
Again a great address for BJV – look-out for them.
The 2017s are sold out – apart from one cuvée – so we mainly look on ether side of that vintage:
2018 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Schist soils with stones and clay – a good metre of soil depth. ‘More fruit less structure, I harvest really late and that’s why there is fruit and no rigour. If I waited longer the grapes would probably start to rot!’ – in bottle about 3 weeks.
A big bright nose – almost tending to banana. Wide, fresh, open, supple wine. This has much of the characteristics of the nose in the flavour – it’s very tasty, only modestly mineral – not a bit rigorous – really a nice line and flavour.
2018 Beaujolais Villages
Racked just a few days ago, bottling probably at the start of March – should be ready for a salon in April!
Deep colour. A little classic bubblegum among the dark fruit aroma. A touch of gas but there’s width and energy here. Juicy, licorice and dark cherry finishing. Lip-smacking yum flavour! Fabulous!
This all tank elevage.
Ooh – a nice nose, a vibrant nose – really a super invitation with very dark fruit. Very silky to start, a concentration but also a freshness that brings a wide perspective to the flavour. Plenty of tannin at the base but almost no grain. Concentration and intensity – and still a couple of years away from drinking. Bravo!
2016 Beaujolais Villages Cuvée du Chapitre
A single parcel 1.5 ha – 9 months in barrels ex Guigal used for whites – then racked into tank. From below the abbaye, more clay here and more structure – ‘it was always a little hard in the first winter but improved in the spring so I decided to try to tame it a little with some barrels.’
A little less colour. A deep nose, but also a deep well of vanilla too. Fresh, volume, drive – great energy here – a little more tannin, and lots of mouth-watering flavour. Far too much oak today – through I know plenty who would like it – good length.
2017 Beaujolais Villages Cuvée du Chapitre
This was bottled in October but it will wait quite some time before Franck decides to commercialise.
A fresh width again – perhaps with a little more density of aroma. More direct, growing in width – really a muscular wine, full of freshness, finer tannin – still plenty of oak but just a notch behind the 2016. But intensity would be my word here.