Tasted in Charnay-lès-Mâcon with director Grégoire Hoppenot and winemaker Nicolas Dietrich, 12 April 2016.
Chemin de Buèry
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Trenel is an old maison from the 1920s, it was begun by restauranteur, Andre Trenel, in 1928. It was always a ‘small’ maison, producing roughly 500,000 bottles per year – a mix of Mâconnais and Beaujolais. New life was injected into Trenel in 2015 when they were bought by Michel Chapoutier from the Rhône. There is now a higher emphasis on vinification and, hence, the general quality of the wines. Trenel buy in both must and grapes.
The team say that they are looking for the purest wines possible, with the majority of fruit destemmed, though also with some vintage variation. The Beaujolais Villages sees, maybe, 6 months of elevage, the crus more like one year – historically much was bottled after the Easter, today a much larger proportion waits until after the next harvest.
“Its year 1 for us” says Grégoire. “We are currently producing much less than 500k bottles per year, but we are looking to slowly regain that level of production – but not more.”
I look forward to seeing how the Chapoutier connection will exert itself on the wines – it is a very light hand so far… And as the team here say, “It is year one for us…”
The whites here were certainly tasty, even the 2015s had quite enough balance. The apple-vanilla dessert aromas and sometimes flavours are more a question of preference – I found it tasty but very distracting, probably it will be gone in 3 years, but probably most of the bottles will also be gone by then!
The reds, with the exception of the Saint Amour and Julienas had slightly muted aromas, if very typical Beaujolais in style, but those two crus, and in both vintages were real honeys. It is clear that even the wines with less up-front charm are built with future drinking in mind – though clearly the region has to rediscover a clientele prepared to cellar their bottles!
Natural cork for all the crus here.
The Beaujolais was a mix of 14s and 15s:
Appellation that makes fresh wines as its high and ultra granitic. A great spine and they drink well already on their fruit – 2009s are excellent now, extra depth in this cru comes in warmer years.
Wide, fresh, faintly pyrazined, pretty red fruit. Sits well in the mouth, with a roundness, nice texture, faint fat lovely line of acid-led flavour. A very tasty wine, a fruity pyrazine but far from a simple wine.
Two terroirs here, La Madone and les Morrières, though this is a more Moulin à Vent type of soil. ‘Also high altitude like Chiroubles.’
Possibly a hint deeper colour. More depth, faintly simmering darker red fruit. Lovely in the mouth with a combination of form and acidity that brings lovely flavour. This is very easy to appreciate – very tasty wine with some elegance. Yum!
2014 Côte de Brouilly
A change of soil; schist that’s hard with some blueness which gives a suggestion of spicyness to the wines – ‘well made wines last very long here.’
A freshness of aroma, darker red fruit of nice precision. Here is, like the Fleurie, a super combination of fresh energy and nicely textured flavour. This is lovely, perhaps even better than the Fleurie – a great line of flavour into the finish. Super!
A real mix of rocks in the ground here – schist, some clay and granite too. Important to try to find a producer that gives depth to their wines.
Deeper colour. Wide, some freshness, dark fruit a hint of bread. Dark fruit, muscular wine, a hint more tannin, faint saline edge. This becomes really interesting as you swallow – wide, complex and really engaging. It needs time for the first flavours to open out, but I think this could be excellent…
Lots of schist and quite some clay, you really have to look for the granite here – it’s the mother rock, but still hard to find. The vigneron here has worked with Trenel for over 60 years!
Less deep colour as the last wine. A consistent tightness, almost a bready note in the aromas. Nice, big in the mouth, textured, a hint of tannin below, a fine line of tasty flavour. This tastes great!
2014 Morgon Côte du Py
Here all is granite – the Côte du Py is mainly schist. Probably the best known of the Beaujolais climats, but possibly because it’s atypical.
Not the deepest colour. A freshness of aroma that lifts this nose above any similarity with the previous wines. Big in the mouth – more architectural, less from density or overt texture. A more considered intensity, indeed density of wine. Super width of flavour and great persistence too. Super!
Lower yields, more like 35-40 hl/ha – ’40-45 usually brings the optimum wine.’ They are fruity, facile, tasty are not really representative of the Beaujolais
One vigneron for a long time, from Lucenay. On a strong east-facing slope planted in 1922. ‘Always concentrated.’
Open, effusive, very deep coloured. A slightly overt BJ nose, but inviting all the same. Muscled but fresh, lots of width and intensity, really impressive mid-palate flavour. Bursts with more in the finish. A really great wine… The price here is about 6-7 euros!
Only from La Madone.
Deep, macerating dark fruit – almost impenetrable. Wide but fresh, concentrated yet still sufficiently vivant. Still, this is an understated rather contemplative wine today. Long with a hint of dry tannin.
2015 Côte De Brouilly
East facing on a hard schist.
Almost a fully saturated colour. A concentrated blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Wide, fine energy, super intensity but it’s a broad intensity with more tannin here, dark fruit too. This has the potential to be brilliant.
2015 Morgon Côte de Py
I can actually see through this wine – just. A freshness of dark fruit – almost like the pears in wine dessert. More gas here, more tannin too. Here is a much more structured wine today but not with lots of grain. Tannic finishing but there’s fine flavour leaching from the gums. Ouf!
2015 Saint Amour
There is more destemming here in 15, here 50%, some to be bottled early for an insistent client, the rest will have a longer elevage.
Deep coloured, very silky nose. Almost a little floral component to the aromatic. Mouth-filling, a base of tannic texture but it is very much in the background. Lovely finish. Gorgeous! Another 2015 wine that I can see through!
2015 Julienas Les Capitans
Historic wine for the maison – grapes from this parcel were the first ever to enter the cuvée of Trenel. A long cuvaison here for BJ – over 20 days. Half destemmed. Half elevage in demi muids half in tank. ‘The grapes here give the possibility to produce a real vin de garde.’
Also saturated colour. Very pretty, dark fruit like the St.Amour a hint of floral. Large-scaled – massive wine, very floral, very concentrated and the intensity demands that you swallow or spit. Big finishing. I’m super impressed by this today but I can’t really say that it’s particularly enjoyable today. This should be brilliant in 15+ years though. Bravo!
1986 Beaujolais Villages
Served blind. From Leynes.
Pretty, wide, mineral, faintly but attractively oxidative – a lovely palate of aroma. Fine, complex, alive, fine acidity, clean and fresh but very much a wine that’s alive and giving. A very good, wide finish. Very happily, surprising wine… Honey, leather on the nose as it gets wider and even more interesting. Yum!
2009 Moulin à Vent
The nose is wide with a certain sweetness a dark-sugared sweetness. Young in the mouth, ripe fruit, still a strong base of structure. The nicest part is the finish with some waves of flavour. But a dark roast style
Julienas Capitans is close to 20€, the rest of the crus are 10-12€ – for consumer pricing in France.
Much from Charnay, normally with a little warmth from here.
A rather exotic fruit but very attractive – almost a apple-custard impression. Fresh, wide on the palate. A tasty wine that’s fruity and fresh. Nothing I could complain about – easy but very yum. Particularly in the finish.
Here from multiple terroirs, one part of Crays in Vergisson, Chaintree and Pouilly too.
A brighter more focused nose again with a vanilla-apple desert impression. Fresh, direct, a nice line of flavour here. Lovely finishing with a modest minerality and a wave of good flavour. This is another tasty wine with just a little more rigour. Yum!
‘Viré and Clessé are almost opposing wine styles, this more from Viré which gas more limestone.’
Fresh nose with a fine clarity of mineral freshness and again the house-style apple-custard. It’s very attractive. A super line and good acidty. A base of concentrated perhaps pear fruit then a nice peak of fresh but certainly ripe pear. Tasty and with good balance.
The fruit from Davayé and Chasselas.
A large-scaled wine, fresh less vanilla-apple, more mineral impression. Bright, round but lots of fine freshness and energy here. A nice mineral bitterness here, wide a certain impression of tannin. Some gooseberry fruit here.
2015 St.Veran Clos des Poncetys
A parcel selection, with 100% barrel elevage – including 500 l barrels.
Deep, faintly toasted nose but still with plenty of freshness above. Wide, indeed mouth-filling wine – hint of vanilla in the flavours. Very good complexity, again a suggestion of tannin, more mineral finishing, long.