Profile: Philippe Deschamps

Update 20.6.2019(27.2.2019)billn

Tasted in Beaujeu with Philippe Deschamps, 20 February 2019.

Domaine Philippe Deschamps
69430 Beaujeu
Tel: +33 4 74 04 82 54

This domaine is beautifully positioned with southerly views over the hills, valleys and vineyards that surround Beaujeu – it’s very picturesque here.

It’s a family domaine, Philippe working with his wife, in a domaine that he has largely created though has some parts that came from his father. Philippe began his exploitation in 1984, and today commercialises the results of 5 hectares of vines in 4 different communes – 15 different parcels – and there are no bulk sales, he commercialises 100% of his production in bottle. Philippe has a négoce licence and has bought, for the first time, some grapes from Morgon in 2017.

Philippe explains that he sells a lot of salons but also has some nice export contracts to the UK, Belgium and Denmark – these exports amounting to about 20% of the domaine’s production. In France he also has good restaurants as clients…

Philippe on 2018:
For me, I think it’s my best vintage; no frost, no hail, and I needed to do very few treatments in the year – I’ve vines that have plenty of ‘herb’ growth between the rows and I only needed about 4 treatments in the whole year – I work ‘raisonée’ but for me that means the minimum of treatments. In the end there were lots of grapes – and grapes with a great quality too – my father has also never seem such a combination.

Philippe on 2017:
2017 wasn’t like 2018 – we had a hailstorm came through the valley here – my old vines cuvée was lost – though there were enough grapes collected to contribute to my rosé! In the end a little more than half a harvest here with 35 hl/a – I was able to move quite quickly to the the 2018s though.

The wines…

An excellent ‘new’ address for me – very worthy wines!

2017 Beaujolais Rosé
A single parcel normally but some of the grapes from the hailed parcels in 2017. Grapes stay in the press for about 6 hours to take on the colour – like to do a delicate press.
Relatively tight nose but with a little attractive floral aspect. Round, easy, supple and quite silky wine. Growing in width towards the finish. Easy but perfectly assembled wine of clarity. Excellent.

2017 Beaujolais Village
This is the classic cuvée – there’s no VV cuvée due to the hail. No added yeast.
Hmm – a nice width of cushioned red fruit here. Fine in the mouth, ripe red fruit but of energy and complexity. Depth of concentration and great flavour. Lots of wine here – tasty wine, indeed delicious finishing – excellent again.

2017 Brouilly
14 days of maceration with a pigeage.
A big, wide, fresh, graphite and fruit nose – a super invitation. Beautiful shape and texture. There’s some herb complexity here but also energy and a little depth to the fine tannin. Long, deliciously finishing wine, a fine finish, indeed a finesse. Super!

2017 Morgon
Buy the grapes from Grand Cras here, but all the fermentation and elevage is done here – this is the first vintage.
Lots of colour here. A fresh nose of depth and a little peppery spice. Hmm, lovely energy, freshness and drive – but supple depth, fine complexity and freshness too – first class Morgon and with a fine floral accent in the finish. Less finesse than the Brouilly but I love this. Bravo!

2017 Beaujolais Villages Blanc
Quite a clay soil – ‘it’s great to do the pruning right now, in the dry and sunshine.’ All the elevage done in stainless-steel tank – ‘I’m not a fan of barrels and I won’t make wines that I don’t enjoy to drink!’
A deep nose, that’s a little reductive. Also in the mouth but there’s line and energy here – plenty of flavour and a touch of finishing minerality. Carafe – there’s a synthetic ‘cork’ used for this – but the shape and style and indeed the flavour look good.

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