Quentin Harel Beaujolais-Villages Les Grandes Terres 2018  Front Label
Quentin Harel Beaujolais-Villages Les Grandes Terres 2018  Front LabelQuentin Harel Beaujolais-Villages Les Grandes Terres 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Quentin Harel Beaujolais-Villages Les Grandes Terres 2018

  • JS90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • V92
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3.4 20 Ratings
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3.4 20 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 90
James Suckling

Spicy aromas of fresh blueberries and cherries abound and lead to a palate that has a handsomely crisp, smooth core of red-berry and blueberry flavors. Drink now.

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Quentin Harel

Quentin Harel

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Quentin Harel, France
Quentin Harel Quentin Harel Vineyard Winery Image

Exciting things are happening in the Beaujolais: following the outbreak of terroir-driven natural winemaking inspired by Jules Chauvet and spearheaded by the likes of Marcel Lapierre and Jean Foillard in the 1980s, a new generation is now following in the footsteps of these early pioneers to make the region one of France’s most dynamic. Quentin Harel perfectly epitomizes this explosion of young talent, having recently taken over the family domaine in the town of Saint-Étienne-des-Oullières, just south of the Côte de Brouilly. Raised in a vigneron household, Quentin sought further experience away from home early on, taking jobs with growers elsewhere in the Beaujolais as well as in Burgundy. He received the bulk of his formative training in the Diois (home to the sparkling Clairette de Die), in addition to studying soil microbiology and brewing his own beer. The 2012 harvest marked his first solo vinification at the helm of Domaine de Buis-Rond, an estate owned by Quentin’s family since 1768. The majority of Quentin’s holdings lie around Buis-Rond, and are classified as Beaujolais AOC. Situated just outside the primarily granitic zone that makes up the ten crus, the soils here consist mainly of clay, sand, and flint—an unusual terroir for the region that yields bright, fresh, aromatic wines full of early-drinking charm. Eager for a new challenge, Quentin purchased one hectare of Morgon in 2011. This parcel of 80 year-old vines lies in the lieu-dit Charmes, a higher-altitude site prone to giving lively, elegant, and mineral wines—an ideal fit for his style. Like his parents did, Quentin farms all his vineyards organically. The parcels around the domaine were certified in 1998, while the “Charmes” plot has been worked this way since 1980. In the cellar, he favors a light style with low intervention: vinification is traditional, via whole-cluster fermentation using indigenous yeasts before élevage in neutral vessels (tank for the Beaujolais, and used 400-liter barrels for the Morgon). He bottles unfiltered with low sulfur additions, giving quintessential Beaujolais quaffers with low alcohol, delicious high-toned Gamay fruit, and lovely floral aromatics. One of the region’s rising stars, Quentin has already proven himself in his short career and we look forward to great things to come from this talented young vigneron.

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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 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.

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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.

SOU937421_2018 Item# 564724

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