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Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois Morgon Les Rontay 2014

Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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    Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois

    Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois

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    Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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    We are Chantal and Éric COUDERT-APPERT

    Chantal (born in 1967) started in 1991 taking over from her father Michel after degree in vines and wine at the Beaune school of wine, Eric (born in 1964) used to be a carpenter but returned to the estate on the retirement of his father-in-law, after having done adult training at the Macon-Davayé wine school in 1997. Both our families come from a vinegrowing and winemaking background and our estate has belonged to the Appert family for over a century.

    We do all the work ourselves, following the wine through from pruning the vines to the glass. Work we carry out through the year includes all the work on the land as well, of course, as crafting the wine itself. The passion we have for our chosen profession finds its roots in this: to see our product evolve stage by stage. Over the years we have grown to know the faces of our plots and their needs as you would a loved one. Never forgetting that mother nature always has the last word.

    Beaujolais

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    The bucolic region often identified as the southern part of Burgundy, Beaujolais actually doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the rest of the region in terms of climate, soil types and grape varieties. Beaujolais achieves its own identity with variations on style of one grape, Gamay.

    Gamay was actually grown throughout all of Burgundy until 1395 when the Duke of Burgundy banished it south, making room for Pinot noir to inhabit all of the “superior” hillsides of Burgundy proper. This was good news for Gamay as it produces a much better wine in the granitic soils of Beaujolais, compared with the limestone escarpments of the Côte d’Or.

    Four styles of Beaujolais exist though most is sold under the basic Beaujolais appellation. The simplest, and one that has regrettably given the region a subpar reputation, is Beaujolais Nouveau. This is the wine that is made using carbonic maceration (a quick fermentation that results in sweet aromas) and is released on the third Thursday of November in the same year as harvest. It's meant to drink young and is flirty, fruity and fun. The rest of Beaujolais is where the serious wines are found. Beaujolais-Villages, which must come from the hilly northern part of the region, offer reasonable values with some gems among them. The superior section are the cru vineyards coming from ten distinct communes: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. Any cru Beajolais will have its commune name prominent on the label.

    Delightfully playful, yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines from Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. While it has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau—a decidedly young, fruit-dominant and playful wine—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing serious wines. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie, Valle d'Aosta and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

    In the Glass

    In its simplest form as Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine released just a couple of months after harvest, Gamay is fresh and full of cranberry and cherry candy flavors. But Gamay is capable of much more. The region of Beaujolais is divided into Villages and Crus, where granite-rich soils and conditions are perfect for Gamay. The Villages and Crus wines, given more time on the vine and in the winery, offer dark blackberry or ripe cherry flavors with enticing aromas of baking spice, violets and dark wet earth as well as aging potential.

    Perfect Pairings

    Gamay is delicious on its own; the simpler bottling can even benefit from a light chill before serving. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pâté and terrines. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of a spicy kick. Gamay can also be a great pairing with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

    Sommelier Secret

    Within Beaujolais, there are ten different Crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.

    TEFCBMO141_2014 Item# 168202