Claire & Fabien Chasselay

Update 16.7.2016(13.7.2016)billn

DSC00299Tasted in Châtillon d’Azergues with Claire and Fabien, 18 May 2016.

Claire et Fabien Chasselay
123/127 Chemin de la Roche
69380 Châtillon d’Azergues
Tel: +33 4 78 47 93 73

The first thing to say, is that Châtillon d’Azergues was definitely not in my car’s GPS, and it is only with considerable luck that I, even vaguely to schedule, made it to this domaine – but I’m very thankful that I did. Here is a domaine that could show the rest of Beaujolais how to properly use oak for elevage, without steeping the wine in vanilla extract – for that, they are my heros! It’s somehow apt that my photo has them framed by barrels..

Claire and Fabian Chasselay joined their parents, Jean-Gilles and Christiane, in 2007. Claire explains that La Roche (where we are) was described as a hamlet of Châtillon as early as 1418 – found in old papers that also noted the lieu-dits here, written in the Provencal patois which was used here.

Claire and Fabian’s grandfather sold in bulk to the négoce plus to the cafés of Lyon, it was their father, Jean-Gilles that started to bottle. The domaine is till about 12-13 hectares, like in their grandfather’s time, “but with half the yields” jokes Claire. The team here also buy grapes from the crus of Beaujolais, enough to enable the commercialisation of about 90,000 bottles per year. About 1.5 hectares is planted to chardonnay, there’s also a little pinot noir, but this is really a gamay domaine.

Triage direct into plastic crates then tip the crates directly into the concrete tanks. Some crus are destemmed and see a long cuvaison. There’s no grill used in the tanks as they feel it extracts too much.

The crus depart the cellar for €13.00 – they are an absolute bargain. 40-50% of the produce finding home in France – roughly…

The wines…

A domaine picked for visiting following my blind tasting. All these fabulous wines see 20-30% new oak – it’s really a great work here – bravo!

2015 Beaujolais Eparcieux
Here its really an argilo-calcaire soil
Deep colour. A deep, concentrated but vibrant nose. Wow, that’s big, a hint of CO2 too, intense but refined, wow – great wine – Beaujolais de-semi-guard!

2014 Fleurie
One parcel in La Chapelle des Bois another from Clos Grand Cour – 80% destemmed, 12-15 days of maceration.
A super core of fruit, faintly edged with some pyrazine. Super-silky, wide, fine fresh, mouth-watering layers of fruit flavour. Fine focus in the finish – lovely clarity. Simply super!

2014 Chénas
The same vinification and elevage as the Fleurie, only the terroir is different, They vinify without sulfur or added yeast with a little pigeage at the end of fermentation.
Really a more perfumed aroma – dark fruit comes as an after-thought. Ooh. Ooh! Gorgeous width over the palate, beautifully melting flavour. Fine energy without shouting, wow finishing! Class!

2014 Beaujolais La Platière
Lots of ‘massive limestone’ here – ‘it’s not possible to plant without breaking up the rock.’
Really a nose with petits-fruits, red and black – different, but lovely. Almost a confiture presence to the fruit, also a hint of vanilla peeking through here – but really only a suggestion. A fine mouth-watering finish. Big and super tasty but with balance.

2015 Beaujolais Blanc Terroir de Châtillon
Pretty, sweet pear with a fine freshness though. Round in the mouth, but layers of ripe fruit that are not wearing. Big and tasty – really!

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