*The Fleurie appellation is located in the heart of the Beaujolais Crus and overlooks the Saône valley, the AOC Fleurie is backed by a chain of ridges. It culminates between 225 and 475 meters above sea level and flourishes on 840 hectares of vines. The soils are mainly made up of more or less deep and decomposed pink granites which give Fleurie wines a finesse and an elegant structure.
Check out: Fleurie & Fleurie Maps
*As per InterBeaujolais…
For about 10 years now, the ‘Cru Fleurie’ – ie the local association of winegrower/makers – have been involved in collective action and studies with the aim to ‘encourage winegrowers to further improve the quality of their wines and highlight their terroirs in order to reclaim their wine history!‘
During this period, resources were allocated to both cartographic and geological studies – you have a link to the resulting maps here – this work carried out by the Rhône Chamber of Agriculture in collaboration with the Sigales pedological study office with the aid of InterBeaujolais. The result, with the (above) linked maps, certainly makes it possible to more fully appreciate the diversity of the soils in Beaujolais – granite is not always granite! Further research has included historical price positioning plus a survey on the cultural practices and know-how of the winegrowers.
On Tuesday, March 28 2023, a general meeting was held for the Fleurie Cru and the Beaujolais vineyards. The winegrowers of the Fleurie Cru voted for an update to their specifications plus a list of climats that should be presented with all the collected historical information to the INAO for a Premiers Crus classification. *’Out of more than 70 voters (representing 60% of the surface area of the AOC), more than 85% of the winegrowers voted for the following:‘
The updated specifications include the following commitments:
– A yield of 52 hl/ha vs 56 hl for the Fleurie without mention of 1er Cru
– Marketing of their wines on September 1st following the harvest vs the current February 1st
– A first harvest after the 5th leaf – it is allowed in the 3rd vintage even for grand crus in the Côte d’Or!
– A minimum degree of 11.5° vs the current 10.5°
– Chemical weeding is prohibited for vines planted at greater than 120cm spacing
The 48 climats of the cru were classified according to the following objective criteria:
– The use of the locality in harvest claims
– The claimed area vs planted area of the locality
– Valuation of vintages
– Tasting notes
– Contemporary literature
– Historical literature
– The cartography
The winegrowers of the Fleurie Cru wish to propose for Premier Cru classification the 7 climats having obtained the best scores in their voting, i.e.:
– Les Moriers
– Les Garants
– La Madone
– La Roilette
– Grille Midi
– La Chapelle des Bois
These 7 localities currently represent 27% of the appellation.
The dossier containing these infos will be presented to the INAO. This is typically a very long process before (or if!) any changes come to fruition – 10-20 years! – with much horse-trading and even the likelihood that the INAO (in exchange) will wish to declassify some parcels from the AOC of Fleurie.
My personal position is that the crus of Beaujolais are effectively (already) the equivalent of premier crus because of the pre-existence of Beaujolais-Villages eg Beaujolais-Lantignie (and many others) and an obvious step up in quality. I would be happier if the energy of the growers was focused on making the very best wine possible as opposed to tinkering with the rules and classification of their climats – yet! – Yet, it is also entirely possible that the improvement in quality that they are searching for and the investment in the best production facilities that can underpin that may only be widely achievable if the can earn a few more euros per bottle and need the influence of a 1er cru label to achieve that. You might say something of a chicken and egg situation…
Click on ‘Read More…’ below to see the notes for 40+ Fleurie wines in the order that they were (blind) tasted this Springtime: