Tasted in Salles-Arbuissonnas en Beaujolais with Franck Large, 11 February 2020.
Domaine du Breuil
Rue du Breuil
69460 Salles-Arbuissonnas en Beaujolais
Tel: +33 4 74 60 51 00
Franck on 2019:
“I had a little frost, so not quite as easy a vintage as 2018, but still good. There was more variation of maturity in 19 vs 18. Generally higher alcohols though – even the nouveau was over 13.5, the white and reds more over 14°. All the wines are certified Terra Vitis. The hail was close – 5 km away. The reds were practically a normal volume – the earlier whites lost quite a bit to the frost though.”
Franck on 2018:
“We really made an extraordinary vintage in 2018 – recently all the vintages have had their positive points, but honestly, 2018 is the most complete of all. 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 sells out quickly so we tasted 2019s – mainly – but as each year a very fine range of age-worthy wines…
All the wines sealed with DIAM now:
This label to avoid confusion with the label of Dubreuil
A nice punchy and open nose – darker red fruit – that’s inviting. Fresh, good drive – really a good line of flavour here. Nicely finishing with mouth-watering freshness and a nice dose of bitters – more zesty than dark chocolate. Top Nouveau!
2019 Beaujolais Villages Salles-Arbuissonnas
This will be bottled at the end of the month – sample from tank.
Plenty of colour. More depth – and there’s width in this depth of aroma – tighter above. Gas. Wide, plenty of energy, a modest framing of the flavours with tannin – but no grain. Hmm – that’s a great finish, intense, nicely dark-fruited, a little saline. Long, long, some more modest finishing bitters.
2018 Beaujolais Villages Salles-Arbuissonnas
Just the normal rendement – 58 hl/ha. Here normally delivers between 55 and 60 hl/ha.
Wider, still a dark-fruited nose. Nice shape again in the mouth – here the tannin is a little more evident – but the feeling of the flavours over the palate is more fluid. More graphite-mineral finishing, practically floral too – today more complex but still not ready – give it 12 months
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.’ This is bottled but won’t be commercialized before the end of the year.
A higher-toned, extra sweetness – the oak speaking here. Lots of concentration, a little more tannin again, plenty of barrel in the mid-palate flavour. That’s a beautiful finishing flavour, mind. Still with oak but lots of finishing complexity. Wait at least 12 months for the oak to start fading – which is why 2017 is still the commercial vintage: Bravo in 3-4 years I think!
2017 Beaujolais Villages Cuvée du Chapitre
Also fresh, round, oaked but with a bit better aromatic balance. Nice drive, super complexity – there is still barrel but it’s well on its way to being eaten vs the 2018. Very fine tannin frames the flavours and I like the energy here. Direct, juicy, but still plenty of tannin – wait another 1-2 years for the general structure – the oak is much less problematic here. Excellent wine
2019 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. Harvested at the end of the harvest – grapes were golden, and in the end about 14.2°. Bottled at the end of January – so 10 days ago.
A little salinity above, deeper below, eventually a little floral suggestion above, eventually a little pear fruit. Nice shape in the mouth – there’s concentration, there’s a growing width and depth of flavour – sweetly interesting, almost a suggestion of rosé flavour to this wine with a touch of tannin. An individual and a very tasty one – excellent!