Tasted with Julien Sunier in Avenas, 17 February 2021.
Julien on 2019:
“I had a little frost in the bottom of Fleurie, my other parcel was okay though. The other parcels did well and I averaged 45 hl/ha. It was a year that resembled 2018 but there was rain before the harvest so there’s a freshness that is ‘extra’ versus in 2018 – lower alcohols too – 12.5° – and I’m happy with that. Vinifications were easy too, I’ve two foudres now, it helps to keep the fruit I think and the oxygenation is still there. ”
Julien on 2020:
“I’ve a bit more Regnié – 4.5 ha now – from 8.5 in total, I always declassified a bit for the Wild Soul but there’s a bit of bought grapes – organic – in there too. But there’s getting to be a bit too much administration – I might have to eventually employ someone! 2020 was a complicated year for many reasons but eventually, the sales returned and we are in good shape.”
Another vintage where I would say to Julien – well-done!
Bottled mid-June – ‘and it takes about a year in bottle before I’m happy – but the wines really grow in the bottle. But I have to say that I prefer the more complicated vintages, with some acidity and I have a fear of dark or black coloured wine!‘ All wines unfiltered with 10mg of sulfur at bottling but none during elevage.
‘Pur Jus’ on the label and cork to indicate that these are bought grapes from friends. Elevage at Château de Basty – foudre elevage, 10 mg of sulfur, not filtered – bottled in Autumn. The third year of conversion for the contracted part – so the whole cuvée will be AB next year.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is a little tight and slightly saline. Mouth-filling, lovely texture – energy. That’s a lovely mineral line in the finish. A little structure right on the end – super and you can keep this a while – I think it will be just perfect in another year.
1 ha of Grand Pres at the bottom of Fleurie, the other part from high. All barrel elevage.
A nose that slowly grows in the glass – rounder, redder, more depth and comfort is my impression. Round in the mouth too – ooh that’s lovely – layered, beautifully textured – a comforting wine. That’s a great Fleurie. Bravo!
Red waxed topped. Vines lower down the slope – but including Côte du Py – so a little richer.
Starts with a slight reduction (feet!), but quickly leaves the glass. More direct, mouth-watering, lovely, faintly spiced flavour, long and delicious.
The lowest-lying vines so the wine with the most maturity. Julien had pulled out the wrong vintage from his stores, so I didn’t get to taste the 2019.
Some depth of fruit and a little spice too. Mouth-filling and with an open freshness of flavour. Wide and super. This has opened up beautifully from last year.