Tasted in Denicé with Jean-Frédéric Sambardier (right, with the next generation), 18 May 2016.
Manoir du Carra Sambardier
Tel: +33 4 74 67 38 24
Jean-Frédéric lives here at the limit of pierres dorées, after there more sandstone, granite and even clay. This is the border of Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais.
The Manoir has, since 1850, been a domaine. Frederic’s brother, also works in the vines. When Jean-Frédéric’s great, great-grandfather bought there was 8 hectares including fruit trees, animals, cereal and vegetables, but really not so many vines. Today the domaine is 35 hectares, of vines. Principally it is Beaujolais Villages, but they also have 6 hectares of Fleurie, 3 of Moulin à Vent, 3 of Julienas and 4 of Brouilly, plus 20 hectares in Beaujolais Villages and some Beaujolais Blanc. Damian, Jean-Frédéric also buys a little Morgon and St.Amour. So, in a decent year that’s 250,000 bottles, all commercialsed here: 60% exported to the USA, Canada, Japan, China and others. They only started to commercialise their own production in 2000 so they have done very impressively here!
All the parcels are kept separate through vinification until time for the assemblage. “Raisonnée, almost bio, some areas still have a little herbicide but the vast majority not, also no insecticides are used. When the cuvées look okay I don’t add extra yeast, if I decide it’s required, then I’ll use just a neutral yeast to ensure fermentation. If the grapes look great I use hardly any sulfur too.” Large foudres and barrels, plus a little stainless-steel and cement tanks are used for elevage.
“I’ll definitely destemming if the stems are too green, but anyway more destemming for the Moulin à Vent and the Julienas – Brouilly less, but it depends on the harvest – I might destem as much as 100% but it’s not systematic.
Very good wines here – a find from my blind tasting in Villefranche…
2014 Fleurie Vers le Mont
400m high, principally VV, ‘we bind all the arms of the goblet together in warm years to protect the grapes from roasting’ part destemmed. Keep this back a year as it’s really made as a vin-de-garde
A rather tight nose, a little mineral below. Some tannin, a mineral impression, very floral too, young wine but with really super finishing flavours and impression. Fresh but to wait for…
2014 Fleurie Montée de la Tonne
The lieu dit
A bigger, more open nose, a more forward Fleurie-style fruit. Supple, enveloping, fruity, faint pyrazine notes, this is a cosseting wine but again with a very good floral finish.
‘Much of Brouilly is on the flat, but this is from a south-facing hillside.’
The aroma is more mineral with some nice flashes of dark fruit. Super! Directly its clear – super! Fresh, bright but complex with energetic flavour, modest but supporting tannin. Bravo! Really nice reprise of deep fruited flavour in the finish too. A mere €10.00 from the cave. They have just started to bottle some of the 2015 of this.
2014 Julienas Les Bottières
‘A terroir that can be slightly sauvage but after 5 plus years its sumptuous…’
Deep, fresh, red fruit. Very nice texture, really a more considered but also a concentrated delivery of flavour, yes richness of flavour without ever heaviness. The flavour is persistent too. This is a more contemplative wine for sure, but fine for that!
2014 Moulin à Vent Les Bourdelines
1.5 hectares, all destemmed, a blend of barrique, foudre and tank elevage.
Deep, dark and vibrant fruit, with faint spice and herb – an inviting complexity here – fresh and direct. Lithe, good energy, dark fruit but really this more a wine about minerality than fruit – until the finish when it melts across the palate. A wine to have a little patience, but really tasty and it should be worth the wait.
2011 Moulin à Vent Les Bourdelines
More open, wider, spicier nose. Supple more open again, complex, faintly spicy more giving. Really impressive in the finish. This is hitting its stride with a Vosne-style of wine for its wide complexity. Yum!