Tasted in Montmelas-Saint-Sorlin with Celia Rostand & David Large, 16 February 2021.
David on 2020:
“In 2020 we added two hectares at the start of the year. Spring started well but there was a bit of frost but only in Moulin à Vent for us. Summer was windy and dry – we stayed vigilant for oïdium, and a strong storm came – not too bad. At the start of August we began our preparations but already around 20 August everything was 12.5-12.8 and we decided not to wait – I think that it was a good choice as the acidities dropped afterwards and the chance of volatiles increased – finishing our harvest 7 September in Moulin à Vent.”
David on 2019:
“In 19 we had a little less surface to work and the vines are mainly on the hill, so we avoided the early frosts. Again some hydric-stress, but nothing catastrophic, no hail or anything like that. The volumes were lower than the 2018 vintage before, by about 15%. The malos were more capricious than 2020.”
David doing it his way – with style – as usual. On the day of my visit, the aromatics were a little timid – but not the rest of the wines. All would benefit from a little time in the cellar as they have a strong construction.
Three 2020s were bottled, so we started with those:
2020 DMC-12 VdF
DMC a reference to Delorian. Gamay – of course. Bottled in December. Whole clusters with cement elevage.
A depth of attractive gamay aroma. Mouth-filling, a modest base of tannin, otherwise rather silky – super in the finish – I love the line of flavour here. Delicious!
2020 Beaujolais Zombie
The same parcel as the last but here is the majority of the old vines from the parcel.
More airy, yet less to find in the higher tones – deeper aromas though. More attack, more impact – cool fruited – direct, sinuous wine. It holds a great finish – that’s excellent – and a baby…
2020 Beaujolais Massai
From Rivolet – the first of the domaine’s vines to pass into organic – in 2013 – there’s a little blue-stone here vs the clay that can be found in the last vineyard.
Less colour. A width of aroma – though tight above and below – still, I have the impression of concentration. More depth and layers to the flavour here – wider too – the previous was direct and intense – two styles – here there are finishing layers of flavour – that’s delicious too. Not a quality, only s style difference – I think I may prefer the first in 6 months time…
2019 Nelson VdF
A Bordeaux-style bottle
Also a modest volume of aroma – freshly, darkly fruited. Mouth-filling, a more overt tannin here framing the flavours with a modest dryness. Lots of finishing energy – bubbling long into the finish. I like the flavour and energy but waiting for this structure to relax will be good – say 2 years…
2019 The Toxic Gamay’nger VdF
VDF (The toxic avenger) – but with an AB label. ‘I liked the name – it’s a cinematic reference, but if I had left ‘Beaujolais’ on the label I might have been accused of being provocative for putting the two together, so I chose not to! For me, it breaks all the clichés. Even a couple of (foreign) restaurants with Michelin stars have put it on their lists!’ Bottled less than 1 week. Pure carbonic in a round tank with about 9 days of maceration, two rackings.
A small nose again, here a more overt Beaujolais style to the fruity-freshness. Some gas. More mouth-filling, dry tannin again – but less – plenty of energy here. Intense finishing, A bright wave of finishing energy. I love that finale but again, wait a year or two before harvesting these bottles…
2019 Beaujolais Gamayhameha
Vines in the area of Pierre Dorée. Again with whole bunches and cement tanks.
More depth of aroma here – but there’s a small reduction too. Gas again. A touch of dry tannin like the previous wines but without grain. An acid-led intensity of flavour – lots of tasty dark-red fruit here. Again a wine for saving…
2019 Beaujolais Villages Grand Terriers
Old gamay, volcanic rock, some sand, like the Nelson with small black grapes. David’s grandfather and father always vinified these apart, steep here. Old vines that don’t produce much – 20 hl/ha.
Deeper colour. A broader nose, showing lots of dark-fruited depth – no reduction contributing in this case. Extra concentration, any tannin is largely covered by the depth of flavour – just a small grain at the base is visible. Wide and fine finishing – a certain clarity of flavour is visible here – that’s a really super wine – excellent – you should keep it a while in your cellar – but you mustn’t…
2019 Moulin à Vent Roche Noir
Vines in the heights of Chénas – 1 ha – 470 m of altitude so avoided the frost of last year. Usually, the parcel to be last harvested. ‘A wine that starts timid but grows with age.’ Just tank elevage for this.
Plenty of colour. Like most here – the nose is rather compact, yet I see clarity of darker-red fruit. Ooh, that’s got great energy – there’s plenty of tannin too – but a super energy – the structure says to wait, the energy says drink me – I’ll go with the former – but I so love the flavour energy here – also in the great finish. This will be excellent but hold it back for a couple of years…
2019 Côte de Brouilly
Actually from the climat of Côte de Brouilly – but that’s not allowed on the label.
Once more the small nose, some dark fruit visible. Wide – super red-fruited – a touch of tannic astringence, but such a nice energy. Moreish flavour despite the youth and structure of the wine. I think excellent once more – but keep patient!
2018 Beaujolais Villages Blanc ‘Dos Argenté’
The ‘silverback.’ ‘I don’t have a tank adapted for white – I chose to protect it by bottling it!’ All tank elevage. No malo here and 1g of sulfur before the bottling.
A saline width of aroma – the most open of all – some slightly natural style to the fruit. Mineral, plenty of mouth-filling volume, the minerality with a certain rigour but not too harsh. Good wine.