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In the second blog from Harpers’ Independent Buyers Trip to Beaujolais, run in conjunction with InterBeaujolais, we hear from a few more of the independent retailers who went out to the region.
Below they share their views on some of the producers they met and the wines they tasted. Don’t forget to check out Harpers on February 24 for the full report.
Ed Perfect, Grape & Grain, Haywards Heath, West Sussex:
“Visiting Chateau de Cercy we were able to shake off the preconceptions we had of red Beaujolais. The wines were rich with youthful tannins, despite some being over five years old. The winemaker was young and dynamic, traits he shared with all the producers we met over the three days.
“The next day it was the experimental and enthusiastic leather jacketed winemaker, Paul-Henri Thillardon, who astonished me with his delicious natural wines. Not yet for sale, these wines had notes of farmyard on the nose (typical of natural wines) with fresh cherry and tart red fruit on the palate. Perhaps not the most approachable of wines, but if you were expecting something more along the lines of the sour Gueuze Beers from Belgium, also made in a very natural way with wild yeasts, without chemicals and very much an acquired taste, these natural wines were much more accessible.”
Matthew Scowen, Hennings Wine Merchants, Pulborough, West Sussex:
“Paul-Henri Thillardon was a producer with a good philosophy on minimal intervention. He has youth on his side and fantastic energy. The wine is already of a good quality, especially for a fairly new producer.
“Aurelien Grillet, from Domaine de la Bonne Tonne, is a superb producer who is changing to biodynamic practices and is of the new, younger generation making waves in the region. There is a retention of fresh fruit, with richness all the way through the range.”
Mike Matthews, North & South Wines, London SW11:
“It’s unusual to try so many wines and not have one or two that don’t live up to expectation. On the whole the wines were superb. There was a level of consistency shown through the different vintages. An example shown from our tasting with Domaine de la Bonne Tonne in AOC Morgon. Here we tasted eight wines with examples from 2009, 2010 to the new 2011 vintage. Between the 2009 and 2010 vintages were wines from different climat’s around the area. You could taste how the wines had developed in those years. A story was beginning to build up. The similarities between the climat’s on their individual years was striking.”
Blog by Laura Heywood. Features Editor. Harpers.
Courtesy of Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review