Marc Delienne Fleurie Abbaye Road (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
?In January 2015, Marc Delienne purchased a wine estate in Fleuriein order to start his own business. A vat room was promptly built and he initiated the conversion to organic production right away to g ain the Organic Certification as soon as possible.
These Vines were planted 40 to more than 80 years ago, with a density of 10,000 vines/hectare (2.5 acres), on mainly sandy or sandy loam soils stemmed from primary rocks (granite) or ancient alluvium, covered by sometimes a dense layer of pebbles of low to average depth. Here, pruning is done using the traditional goblet method, even though the vines are trained to significantly increase their height. Regular tillage, albeit shallow, a special care given to seasonal plants and biodynamic cultivation are key features of the culture of the domain.
The grapes are processed as delicately and as naturally as possible. Concrete vats are filled with whole crops, after thorough screening, with no yeasting nor chaptalisation. Daily pumping over is kept to a minimum so as not impose excessive extraction. The fermentation of skins is brief, and most wines are put into extra-large wine barrels (foudres) right after the pressing is done.
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 wines exist. The simplest, and one that has regrettably given the region a subpar reputation, is Beaujolais Nouveau. This is the Beaujolais 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. Aside from the wines simply labelled, Beaujolais, there are the Beaujolais-Villages wines, which must come from the hilly northern part of the region, and offer reasonable values with some gems among them. The superior sections 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. From 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.