2014 Maison Perraud Moulin-à-Vent
Region: Moulin-à-Vent < Beaujolais < France
Vineyard/cellar stats: Certified organic and biodynamic; soils are a crumbly pink granite called 'gore'; fermented and aged in neutral big barrels; bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero added So2; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Isabelle & Bruno Perraud
Fun facts: Beaujolais is part of France's fancy wine region, Burgundy, and it's also the birthplace of the natural wine movement. The new guard winemakers here were embracing organic, biodynamic and low-intervention practices long before they were a thing, and many credit this group for helping make "natural" a thing. It's also home to the Gamay grape, a light-ish red that is similar Pinot Noir, with a slightly fleshier palate but tons of complexity and lift.
he Perraud family has their hands in 4 of them, organic plots they've been farming vineyards for six generations. Bruno and Isabella, the current generation, took over the estate in 1988. They became organic certified in 2002, then decided to go a step further, to become 'one with mother nature' by converting to biodynamics. Their cellar work is all about minimal intervention—native fermentation, aging in old barrels, and for this cuvée, not even added sulfur at bottling.
The cru Moulin-à-Vent, named after the windmills that dot the countryside, is considered 'The King of Beaujolais'. The wines from this area tend to have the most body and structure, thanks to its pink granite soil with seams of manganese, which means they age beautifully. So it makes total sense that Perraud's Moulin-à-Vent is singing right now, after 8 years in the bottle, with the bright red fruit and floral notes taking on more savory, earthy, moody tones, and developing Burgundian levels of complexity. Perfumed and spicy, but fresh and lifted, this is a stunning wine, most definitely a top bottling of Beaujolais. The fact that it's available to you for way less than $40 is incredible, given the rising prices of Burgundy in general. There isn't much to go around, but Gamay or Pinot lovers, don't miss out on this special bottle.