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über-niche beaujolais – jules desjourneys

A nice way to ‘recover’ after a week without tasting, due to a head-cold:

While the vast majority of Beaujolais struggles to get €10 a bottle for their produce, I have in my hands two bottles that have been sent to me from a producer that is really pushing the pricing envelope. A Fleurie and a Moulin à Vent – both 2014s with yields of 20 hectolitres per hectare – or even a little less in the case of the Fleurie. The packaging is exemplary, right down to the thick wax capsules – of different colours – but then I suppose it should be: these bottles are €50 and €70 respectively.

Respect!

But are they any good? Well, it’s definitely an interesting story – though I still don’t yet understand why the winemaker and owner of the domaine has a different name to that of the domaine – but all in good time, I think they are definitely worth a visit!

The grapes are triaged before ‘classic‘ semi-carbonic fermentation of whole clusters in open-topped wooden tanks before vertical pressing. These wines were aged for 24 months, equally in tank and old demi-muids. My general dislike of ‘prestige cuvées‘ is that they have far too much vanilla oak – oak that rarely fades with gamay – but, on paper at least, these sound different:

2014 Fleurie La Chapelle des Bois
A south, south-west parcel of 2 hectares on a mix of marl (limestone-rich soil) and granite. 10,000 vines per hectare.
Medium-plus colour – but not a colour of overt extraction. The nose is a little tight, faintly powdery red fruit, though it still gives the impression of a silky texture. Freshness, impressive width and a growing intensity of flavour – the flavour of pure wine – no oak make-up. There’s a strong flavour that holds on the tongue here – impressively finishing with a little bitter-chocolate tannin. The freshness could almost become a little tart if it wasn’t for a very fine texture. After about 25 minutes there is a really impressive fresh red-fruited perfume – it’s a beauty. This is impressive stuff, and it’s worth €30 of anyone’s money – but €50? – perhaps only in the context of what is happening in the Côte d’Or. Simply excellent stuff though.

2014 Moulin à Vent Chassignol
From 1 hectare of old vines – more than 90 years old – planted at a density of 13,000 per hectare. A hillside that is rich in quartz as well as the usual granite.
Deeper colour than the Fleurie, but still transparent. The nose starts tight and deep – the depth coming from a faint reduction. Wow! – On the palate this is a little dynamo – very wide, with energy, freshness and an impressively complex melting flavour. The Fleurie is, by comparison, a little subdued in character. Of-course there’s a little extra tannin here, but the waves of gorgeous flavour are simply superb. As young as this tastes – and it tastes very young – this is a wonderfully talkative, engaging wine. Bravo – great wine! With time there is a little chocolate to the depth of aroma and a more floral accent to modest but shiny black cherry. €70? Well it is certainly, to my palate, a more instantly impressive, complex and layered wine than the Fleurie – which I thought worth €30!
 

5 responses to “über-niche beaujolais – jules desjourneys”

  1. WEA Wines

    That’s ex-Domaine price or retail?

  2. Mike Golub

    In the USA they are imported, but he releases very late! The 2012 will be just coming in!
    Have you tasted or can you taste the 2012,2013?

  3. Mike Golub

    In the USA at Zachys in NEW York the 2011 is available at about $67.00

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