Tasted with Eric Janin in Romanèche-Thorins, 08 February 2019.
Domaine Paul Janin & Fils
Tel: +33 3 85 35 52 80
Eric on 2018:
“2018 was a relief. The previous two years were very difficult with the hail damage to the vines and grapes, so we had much hope for 2018 and in the end it was a nice present. A dry year with warm weather and a magnificent harvest – very ripe – satisfying in every direction. The result was almost 40 hl/ha, we harvested much less in both 2016 and 2017 – between 8 and 12 hl/ha in both cases – so as you can see, 2018 was important. Some cuvées were slow to start fermenting but I would say there were no difficulties, just a couple that needed more time. Tannins are silky and integrated, so maybe I could bottle one or two wines a little earlier – which would be a good timing from a fiscal perspective!”
Eric on 2017:
“2017, a harvest that was complicated. It was hard to work with the grapes because they had plenty of damage, plenty of dry grapes after being hit by the hail. It’s the first time I took so long to triage a harvest – removing every single dry grape by hand – the whole vintage destemmed – I’m talking about Moulin à Vent here. There would have been too much risk of the wines being marked by the hail – wines that wouldn’t have been interesting. The maturity took some time as the grapes were fragile, but fortunately not too much time. The effort brought good wines though, I’m proud of the quality given the starting point. But not forgetting that Brouilly, Chénas and Beaujolais villages was not hit – and here was super maturity too. ”
Bravado, superb wines in one-quarter – the wines that were not hit by hail – more serious wines from Moulin à Vent, though wines without overt faults.
All bottlings were done between May and the end of July:
2017 Beaujolais Villages Blanc Argiles
Vines planted in 2006, in a clay soil in Romanèche-Thorins – 49 hl/ha in 2016
A deep, punchy, almost musky nose – but more floral above. Round, a perfumed wine in the flavours too – rooted in minerality but round and easy. Tasty wine. A wine mineral wave of finishing flavour – starts easy and rich but finishes with some mineral rigour and a touch of citrus skin.
The first vintage. ‘A much easier vintage here in Brouilly – no hail – it’s a very granitic soil here and later ripening than many in the appellation, exactly what I want, something with a touch of elegance rather than opulence.’
A lovely colour – deep but transparent. Almost a touch of smoke to the first impression, then deep luxurious dark-red fruit. Hmm – now that’s super – mineral but with a clarity of graphite-tinged fruit flavour. Open, not a wine of richness but of concentration and intensity – but in all directions never too much. Complex finishing, the graphite and the fruit again – increasing in amplitude. Ultra-fine. Bravo a wine that has me contemplating each and every facet!
Rare to take a BJV after a cru – but here you go:
‘2/3 from Lancié from domaine vines sediments with granite included – a really early ripening area, plus 1/3 from near Le Perréon which brings a fine balance.’
A great depth but transparency of colour again. A deeper nose, darker-fruited. Ooh – round, more depth, rounder wine, less energetic but no less balance, beautiful over the palate, ooh that’s a concentration and persistence of flavour – a little graphite minerality again. A fuller wine than the Brouilly, deeper, – but the for the more open presentation I prefer the Brouilly but this is simply great BJV!
First vintage also for this wine, from the climat of Blémont – ‘quite a structured area.’
A deeper nose, quite a rounded style of aroma – not the incisiveness of higher tones from the last wines. Ooh! But a nice entry, a wine of direction and of drive, this one framed with a little dryness of tannin but virtually no grain. Extra depth of flavour from the middle. Bigger, and more structured – some floral aspects in the mid-palate too. A big wine, a deep wine – an excellent wine – will need some time to better delineate all the flavours though – a great mineral finish – a wine that keeps getting bigger!
All the previous wines were the traditional whole-cluster vinifications of the domaine – the wines that follow were those that were destemmed due to the hail:
2017 Moulin à Vent Les Vignes Tremblay
Similar colour to the previous wines. A tighter nose but one of silk and a growing floral perfume. Stricter, direct, framed with the most tannin so far – a little herb is accenting the fruit today, but there’s a beacon of bright fruit that follows a line through the middle right into the finish. A wine of structure and a certain concentration – for the patient, but I expect this will make a fine bottle.
2017 Moulin à Vent Heritage
Old vines – the oldest over 100 years old, bought by Eric’s grand-mother in 1937 – the climat is Clos du Tremblay.
A touch of reduction but also a very attractive complexity of dark berry fruit too, air adding some florals again. Good volume – a more open complexity here, tannin but less overt than the ‘Tremblay’ complex, none of the herb of the last, small waves of finishing flavour, faint bitters in the manner of bitter-chocolate, a wine of layers. Good stuff.