Vignobles Bulliat Morgon Nature Gamay 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Shimmering ruby. Lively, primary red/blue fruit aromas, along with suggestions of pungent flowers and succulent herbs. Picks up a spicy nuance with air, which sharpens the appealingly sweet black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. A bitter chocolate note appears on the long, penetrating finish, which is firmed by dusty, even tannins.
Noël Bulliat and his son Loïc run this family estate that covers 27 ha in 8 different appelations in the heart of the Beaujolais region. It all started in 1978 when Noël bought 4 ha of Beaujolais Villages straight after having graduated from viticultural school. Today, the estate produces around 70 000 bottles per year.
The estate started switching to organic practices in 2010 and was officially certified in 2013. Only natural products are used to fight illnesses. Grass is growing between the vines on 3/4 of the plots to avoid the use of herbicides and to limit yields. As a result, erosion has been halted, making an easier passage for the tractors. Grape picking is always done by hand.
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.