Tasted in Juliénas with Sandrine and Lilian Matray (right), 14 July 2017.
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This family domaine is now into its 6th generations as daughter Célia has joined. Sandrine explains that it was their great, great grand-father who bought the domine here. The domaine exploits 15 hectares, principally in Juliénas, but with vines also in the crus of St.Amour, Moulin à Vent and Chénas – and they have bottling their own wine here since the 1960s…
They have 0.5 hectares of St.Amour which sees no barrels – though barrels are used for some other cuvées – in elevage for 10 months, mostly in stainless-steel. All the vinifications are in cement with whole clusters, the St.Amour with maybe 6-7-8 days of maceration. Lilian says that he’s looking for a bit more structure in the Juliénas so uses a longer 10-12 days cuvaison; “I make the same vinification as my father and grandfather, but with some modern advantages such as cooling and triage at vines and in the bins, using whole clusters, no grille, with every morning and evening a remontage.”
A little ‘primeur’ is made here, blanc and rosé too – bottled in December. The St.Amour is bottled in Feb-March, for selling in salons, the Juliénas normally March-April, and the Baccus is last to be bottled in June.
France is main market for these wines, some is exported but mainly the sales are to individual clients and visitors – plus the salons. “Our harvesters are our biggest agents! And the wines work well with tupperware parties too!” laughs Lilian!
Just to note that in 2016 the domaine was hailed at the end of July – they lost between 25-40% of their harvest.
The Juliénas VV cuvées are very good here, though have a little more oak signature than is my preference, but fortunately, from the perspective of St.Amour, they use no oak and it’s a very worthy cuvée.
‘A good area for the fruit, but not so structured.’
A pretty nose of flowers and fruit. Nice volume with an endearing freshness, the fruit has a little savoury aspect, long finishing with a little herby aspect too. Tasty wine.
2016 Juliénas Vieilles-Vignes
A plot planted by Lilian’s grand parents in 1939.
A width and freshness of aroma, but also a little vanilla. Lovely in the mouth – really super texture. Very tasty despite the accent of vanilla – though fortunately not too much.
2015 Juliénas Baccus
This is effectively the same as the Vieilles-Vignes cuvée, except that it is a barrel selection.
Deeper colour, also some vanilla here – again really superior texture, long, long, with a very modest grain of tannin. Excellent, but be aware of the vanilla.