2016 Damien Coquelet Chiroubles
Region: Beaujolais < Burgundy < France
Vineyard/cellar stats:organic farming; whole cluster, carbonic fermentation; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Damien Coquelet
Gamay runs in the blood of Damien Coquelet, stepson of famous Bojo producer George Descombes, with whom he worked alongside since early childhood, learning the ropes in the vines and the cellar. This experience imprinted a few non-negotiable principles in Damien's work: organic viticulture, hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero intervention in the cellar and little if any sulfur at bottling. Eventually he struck out on his own, bottling his first vintage in 2007 at the ripe old age of 20.
2016 was a cold, wet, challenging vintage in Beaujolais, but the resulting wines were epic - lean, fresh, balanced, elegant -- so whenever we find remnants of this vintage, we grab them, as subsequent vintages have been hot and dry, producing bigger, higher alcohol -- not our cup of tea. But Damien's 2016 Chiroubles (a Cru village) is exactly our cup of tea. Fresh and vibrant, with some of that characteristic red-hot cinnamon spice that we love, plus zippy raspberry fruit, earthy forest floor and a little Campari bitter-orange thing. Sadly, he doesn't make much and the vintage is now done, so we got the last case out there. If you're a Gamay lover, grab one of the last few bottles quickly. CHILL SLIGHTLY BEFORE SERVING.