Stephane Aviron Moulin-a-Vent Vieilles Vignes 2015
Grapes are vinified separately until time for the final blending and bottling. The must is macerated in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 12-15 days and then aged for 12-14 months in a combination of new and used oak casks.
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Stephane Aviron has adopted an almost radical return to tradition in Beaujolais: sustainable viticulture, extremely old vines and classic Burgundian techniques. His cru Beaujolais drink like fine Burgundy.
Historically considered "poor man’s Burgundy," a modern movement toward fruity, simple, quaffing wines boosted sales but eroded the region’s traditional quality. Stephane Aviron has reversed the trend. By focusing on the Beaujolais village crus, the best sites for unique, expressive wines, and finding old parcels of vines, Aviron creates very expressive, age-worthy wines relying on traditional and new methods, including organic and biodynamic vineyard management. All wines are labeled "Vieilles Vignes," old vines, because the vines are at least 40 years old. Stephane Aviron’s wines are authentic in every way.
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. 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.