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Maison L'Envoye Moulin-a-Vent 2015

Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
  • V92
13.5% ABV
  • W&S90
  • WW92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Known as the King of Beaujolais, the highly acclaimed Moulin-à-Vent Cru boasts the most full-bodied and structured wines found in the region. Grapes for the Maison L’Envoyé Moulin-à-Vent come from south facing, 60-year-old, Gobelet pruned vines in the Terre de Thé vineyard. The distinctive pink granite soil produces wine with red and black fruit characters and a lengthy, complex finish.

Powerful aromas of dark berries, licorice and potpourri are complemented by floral kirsch notes and sweet spice. The palate is generous and expansive, offering red and black berry flavors supported by a graphite minerality. The wine finishes long with succulent red fruit and fine tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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V 92
Vinous
Brilliant ruby. Deeply perfumed dark berry, spice and floral aromas pick up a mineral accent with air. Ripe blackberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors are energized and lifted by a spine of juicy acidity. Rich yet lively in character, finishing alluringly sweet and very long; fine-grained tannins make a late appearance.
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Maison L'Envoye

Maison L'Envoye

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Maison L'Envoye, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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Driven by a tireless hunt for elusive sites where Pinot Noir shines, Maison L'Envoyé traverses the globe with the intention of presenting the acme of regionality and winemaking styles. With winemaking footprints in Burgundy, Willamette Valley and Tasmania, Maison L'Envoyé champions many unsung growers who have farmed their vineyards for decades and generations, some mere feet away from more illustriously cited neighbors. This project has been a standout since launching in 2011 including Wine & Spirits naming Maison L'Envoyé a 'Winery To Watch' in 2015.

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-flavored wines in Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. It has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau, a young beverage more reminiscent of fruit punch than wine. But make no mistake—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing light yet serious wines, especially in the cru villages of Beaujolais. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

In the Glass

Gamay can be decidedly light and fruity with flavors cherry candy and cranberry. Made for Beaujolais Nouveau, with a quick fermentation process, the wines give fun and flirty aromas of banana or bubblegum. The Nouveau style is to drink early and not contemplate. More complex Gamays (Village or cru level) 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, especially with a light chill. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pate, and terrines. Served at a cool temperature, it is an unexpected but outstanding partner for freshly shucked oysters. 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.

YNG282757_2015 Item# 358659