Tasted with Louis-Clement David-Beaupère in Julienas, 17 May 2016.
Tel: +33 9 75 92 61 19
I was expecting to meet (probably) David Beaupère, but actually I was missing a hyphen in my itinerary, those are actually the names from two families joined together by marriage. My appointment was actually with Louis-Clement David-Beaupère who told me that he actually started life as a banker.
This 8.5 hectare domaine was begun by the grand-father of Louis-Clement; bought in 1960, his grand-father was a proprietor with a metayer. Louis-Clement’s father was a doctor so the domaine skipped a generation, Louis-Clement came in 2008, starting with 4 hectares of vines surrounding the house. It wasn’t an easy start he said – ‘2008 was far from an easy year.‘ He moved to bio from 2009, then started certification in 2011 – “It’s not just about the health of the vineyard he says, it’s also about the health of people who live here – we live in the middle of these vines.” In 2015 another 3 hectares of Julienas were acquired in Violettes, plus 1.5 hectares in Moulin à Vent – “We can see those vines on the hillside from the garden of the house.” Louis-Clement is already starting to do some replanting…
Seventy percent if the domaine’s production is sold in France, but Louis-Clement notes that his export market is growing faster, “despite there not actually being much wine to sell, given low yields and current replanting. I also prefer to work in vines than receive visitors, so maybe there’s some influence there too” he says with a smile!
Outside the house Louis-Clement showed me som young vine plantations; “Quite sandy soil with some dark clay, brown not red. This holds onto the water. A mix of cordon training with 2m gaps and old goblet – just to see!” The 2m separated vines have a density of 6.5k per hectare but are higher trained, ‘so far have better maturity and acidity.‘
In the cuverie there’s plenty of space: vinifications are in cement, cold macerations ‘à la froid bourguignone‘, destemmed but then semi-carbonic fermentations. “I don’t heat the cuvées, but here in Julienas the cuvées are always black…I I had 30 hl/ha in 2014, much less in 2015…” Currently less than 15k bottles are commercialised, but there’s a potential of 30,000…
A producer and wines that I really enjoy/ed…
2014 Julienas La Croix de la Bottière
Deep dark fruit, with a suggestion of reduction at the start. Wide, fresh – yum – super dark fruit, plenty of captivating energy and a growing weight of intensity in the mid-palate. This holds very well. Tasty wine – very tasty wine. After two minutes the nose is clean and super-inviting, a floral nose with a note of pyrazine. Yum. Super silky in the mouth
2012 Julienas La Bottière
A big frost after a warm spell in the winter so only about 14 hl/ha. Planted in 1962 and saw 40 years of chemicals with roots too much at the surface. More stones here – limestone. Complete destemming, a long cuvaison and 12 months in barrel.
Deep, darkly fruited, rather a lot of vanilla today for my nose-buds. Quite a bit for my taste-buds too. Here is more tannic structure, but a fine depth of flavour. It needs plenty of time for the oak flavours to fade. Really an interesting salinity in the mid-palate and a fine cool almost metallic mineral line to finish. To wait for.
2011 Julienas La Bottière
Not so overt aromatics but super-engaging depth of aroma – dark, bubbling, macerating fruit. Wow – beautiful fresh line, its concentrated, widening on the plate, a hint more tannin but little grain, this is super wine. Yes it could be silkier, but the nose is slowly opening and becoming ever-more inviting – like the 12 there’s a fine finishing line of flavour. Super!
Elevage without wood.
Beautiful, fresh, dark fruit, this is a beauty! Wow – gorgeous over the palate, still a bite of tannin so there’s no rush, but mouth-watering ultra tasty flavour. This is a beauty – bravo! The nose is slowly evolving and becoming more complex too.