2016 Nathalie Banes 'La Saoulee' Beaujolais
Region: Beaujolais < Burgundy <France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Uncertified organic farming; high-altitude vineyard with limestone/red clay soils; fruit is destemmed then xx 4 months in huge, old wooden casks; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Nathalie Banes
Nathalie Banes is relatively new on the Loire’s natural winemaking scene. 2015 was her first vintage. Previously she worked with Xavier Benier (famous in the Loire for his unsulfured, super-natural wines) and her boyfriend is Julian Merle, another fantastic natty Loire producer. But she wanted to do something different with her own project, so she’s bypassing the traditional fermentation method of Beaujolais (carbonic) and going the traditional Burgundian route to make more serious, less glou-glou wines. She has a small vineyard that she farms herself, organically, in Southern Beaujolais (south of Brouilly). Let us count the ways we love this wine. First, it’s called 'La Saoulée', which means “the drunkard” in French - a nod to Nathalie’s younger party days. She sounds like a ton of fun, I’d like to hang out with her. Second, as much as I love (I mean, MEGA love) carbonic wines, this one is not, intentionally -- Nathalie destems and presses, a producing a deeper, darker and more serious wine that her carbonic brethren. Yay, more ways to enjoy Gamay! And finally, while this wine is bursting with the juicy joy inherent in Gamay, it’s also got a savory, spicy and floral side with bright, peppery flavors, making it so perfect with fall food.