Profile: Domaine du Breuil / Château des Jean Loron (St.Amour)


Tasted in La Chapelle de Guinchay (roughly!) with Guillaume Bouchacourt, 13 July 2017.

Domaine du Breuil / Château des Jean Loron
1492 A rte Deschamps
71570 La Chapelle de Guinchay
Tel: +33 3 85 36 77 49

I visited Guillaume just a few days after the well reported hail that hit Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent. He has Have 13 hectares in Chénas on the wide plain from his domaine to the windmill of MAV in the distance. Less well reported is that the hail hit Chénas too – and all of his 13 hectares here was hit. “Some could be saved” he says, “But fortunately my 3.3 hectares in St.Amour wasn’t touched.

The family domaine has been here, in this slightly complicated constellation, for about 200 years – Philibert Desvignes, related distantly to the Desvignes in Morgon, started the domaine in 1816, this building dating from 1824. Guillaume bottles under two labels – the Chénas takes the Château des Jean Loron label, whilst the St.Amour takes the Domaine du Breuil label. The house and cuverie here is in the climat of Jean Loron, rather than actually in La Chapelle de Guinchay – but the domaine has no connection the the producer Jean Loron(!) Guillaume rents the place and the vines from the rest of his family – aunts and cousins – he took over in 2014 with two sisters. Effectively it is a metayage agreement, but a long one – it’s a 25 year contract for half the harvest. The domaine extends to 17.1 hectares as there is also a little white produced – 2.3 hectares are now in bio..

Guillaume explains “The St.Amour soil is more alluvial, near vers l’eglise on stony ground which is plain south-facing – the heat from the stones warming the vines in the night.

Guillaume’s main market is France. This year he visited Vinexpo and is now looking for export markets, as he says that he’s too dependent on négoce buyers for the moment – they account for 75% of his total sales. At the domaine they are commercialising about 25,000 bottles now.

The wines…

DIAM5 in use here since 2015.

I enjoyed my time with Guillaume and I enjoyed his wines too – there is much potential at this domaine – what’s been achieved since only 2014 is really excellent.

2014 St.Amour
This the first harvest. In 2016 they did a little destemming, layering the clusters and then the grapes, using a grille to trap the solid cap. Macerating 10-12 days. Tank elevage bottling in March after the malo. The 2014 and 2015 vintages were all whole clusters.
Bright, open red-fruited, adding some floral aspects. In the mouth there’s a good weight of perfumed fruit – this is delicious stuff – with just a little touch of tannin. Lovely wine. Long, with a mouth-watering aspect to the finish.

2015 St.Amour
Hmm, this is very enticing, there’s a little green, but a crunchy attractiveness too. Extra sweetness, more structure more weight and growing intensity of flavour – more of everything, except today, drinkability. A great finish though. Bravo!
2016 St.Amour
Hmm, lovely width of aroma here, a little minty freshness. Hmm, fresh, waves of delicious flavour and great energy – a little extra tannin here. Drink the 14 ahead – if you must – but this is delicious wine Bravo.

The domaine’s Chénas from all around the domaine. From Gondlins – south-facing looking towards the Moulin. Then there’s Petite Pierre which is north, north-west facing here with some alluvial material over the sandy granite. The Chénas is aged a year before bottling here.

2014 Chénas Gandelins
These have the Château des Jean Loron labels
A nice dark-fruited freshness of aroma. Bright, muscular, lithe and intense, this is super wine! Very young but excellent!

2014 Chénas Les Petites Pierres
Just a faint extra strictness but essentially the same form. A little more supple, a width of flavour, faintly peppery, long, faint waves of finishing flavour

2015 Chénas Gandelins
A silky and dark nose. Presence, weight but never heavy – a growing intensity of flavour. Chewy modestly tannic, just a great wine in waiting – bravo.

2015 Chénas Les Petites Pierres
Like many in the vintage a profoundly deep nose, that’s faintly dark fruited. Big in the mouth, a little base of tannin, widening flavour big wine, a hint more mineral and for the patient – you could still drink this dark cherry-fruited wine today if you wanted, but I’d definitely take the 2014s before.

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