2014 Grand‘Cour Fleurie ‘Chappelle de Bois’
Region: Fleurie < Beaujolais < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming, schist/granite soil, no added SO2
Winemaker: Jean-Louis Dutraive
Jean-Louis Dutraive is one of the natural winemaking early adopters – a devout practitioner of organic viticulture, his property has been certified by ECOCERT since 2009, though he was practicing organic for decades before that. Harvest is done by hand and grapes are immediately placed in tank at low temperatures to begin carbonic maceration (without sulfur). The wines ferment naturally with indigenous yeast and are macerated on the skins from 15-30 days, then gravity fed to the cellar to age in old foudre. Fleurie, in my opinion, is the most elegant of the Beaujolais Crus. And 2014, by all accounts, was a fantastic vintage for Beaujolais. So believe me when I say this might be the best Beaujolais I’ve ever had, one of my favorite wines ever – and I’m a huge Beaujolais fan. It’s that good. There’s an almost exotic floral and cinnamon-spicy aroma overlaying a textural lushness and purity of red fruit. It is floral, lifted, bright and utterly gulpable. Except for the fact that it is allocated, I only got one case, and thus I don’t want to gulp – I want to savor. Every. Last. Drop.