Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Fleurie 2017
100% Gamay. Fleurie is one of Jean-Paul's two largest cru holdings, 6 hectares all within the famous lieu-dit of Grille Midi, a south-facing amphitheater of vines on poor, sandy, decomposed-granite soils over hard granite rock. The difference between this regular Fleurie bottling and his Grille Midi bottling is vine age and elevage. This Fleurie is from the younger vines, clocking in around 40 years old (versus 60 years and up for Grille Midi). As for his other wines, the vinification is traditional Burgundian and the aging in concrete, for 6-8 months for the Fleurie (versus aging in foudres for the Grille Midi).
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Lurid magenta. Energetic, spice-accented cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by a subtle candied rose nuance. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering sweet cherry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that unfurl slowly on the back half. Finishes youthfully tannic and spicy, delivering solid punch and strong, mineral-driven persistence.
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, but also capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines predominantly from Beaujolais. In Beaujolais, Gamay generally has three classes: Beaujolais Nouveau, a decidedly young, fruit-driven wine, Beaujolais Villages and Cru Beaujolais. The Villages and Crus are highly ranked grape growing communes whose wines are capable of improving with age whereas Nouveau, released two months after harvest, is intended for immediate consumption. Somm Secret—The ten different Crus have their own distinct personalities—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant and Morgon is structured and age-worthy.