Tasted with Raphael Saint-Cyr in Anse, 24 June 2021.
31 Chemin de Trechen
Tel: +33 4 74 60 23 69
I arrived at the domaine unsure if I’d found the right place – a shop selling all manner of foodstuffs – but then I also saw the racks of Saint-Cyr wines that were for sale. Behind the shop is the cuverie and fine modern cellars.
Raphael Saint-Cyr joined the family domaine in 2008 when he was 22, the fourth generation of his family to do so. He’d worked for a time in New Zealand before returning to Anse in the Pierres Dorées, to vines, some of which, are 70-years-old and were planted by his great, great-grandfather. Today he works 23 hectares of vines, 18 in the Pierres Dorées and 5 in the northern crus. The product of 15 hectares is labelled AB (organic) though he’s actually working in biodynamic fashion but not certified for that.
Raphael vinifies ‘natural’ ie without sulfur – only a little is added at bottling time for some wines and for others, none. His father is still present and happily working in the vines, letting Raphael make his ‘natural wines.’ The domaine is, commercially, more focused on France but still exports around 30% of its production in about 40 countries.
Wines that I really enjoyed – even the whites. The crus are very classy and if you know a little the style of the Sunier brothers then there are parallels to that here too.
2020 Beaujolais Blanc La Galoche
Argillo-calcaire, all tank elevage. Young vines ‘and fast elevage, for drinking young’
Slightly spiced and saline, slowly floral – that’s rather good. Open, fresh and energetic, slightly floral flavour too. This is quite good!
2019 Beaujolais Blanc Terrioir Lachassagne
A marne-calcaire soil and from older vines.
Very bright, fresher, slightly more oxidative, apple, style aroma but there’s also 24 months of elevage in the process here. Lovely acidity, a little more penetrating, melting the flavour over the palate, faintly gassy, incisive, mouth-watering – and still not finished fermenting, there remains 5g of sugar!
2020 Beaujolais La Galoche
Carbonic maceration, starting cold, at 9°C.
High-toned, bright red fruit, faintly pyrazine but still attractive. Wide, nicely mouth-filling, with a lovely combination of ripe and fresh to the red berry, almost strawberry style.
2020 Beaujolais Terrior de Bellevue
More aromatic depth, darker fruit, less brightness of energy. CO2, mouth-filling and actually quite juicy – some small tannin framing the flavours. Waves of good finishing flavour. That’s lovely…
2020 Morgon Charmes
Hmm, deeply, roundly, truffly aroma – a style like Sunier but also faintly reductive. Direct, driving, very Morgon in style. That’s completely delicious – simply lovely wine!
2020 Moulin à Vent La Bruyère
Like the last wine, with 24 days of maceration. Here with 60% barrel elevage unlike the Morgon which was 100%
More perfumed, more floral – still the faintly reductive low sulfur impression. The shape is different to the Morgon – as it should be – fuller, rounder but still fresh and quite vibrant finishing – delicious finishing. That’s another super wine.