Estate: Domaine Dupeuble is in the southern part of the Beaujolais region of eastern France. The estate has been making wine nearly continuously since 1512, and throughout that lengthy history, the name has only changed three times. The most recent name change was in 1919 when estate heiress Anna Asmaquer married Jules Dupeuble. Today their grandson Damien, along with his wife, brothers and their children, run the estate. Over the years, the family has incrementally been able to increase their property holdings, currently the estate consists of 100 hectares, 40% of which are vineyards. Their wines are renowned for their combination of high quality and reasonable price.
Winemaking: The family are committed to lutte raisonnée cultivation methods and therefore do not use any chemicals or synthetic products in the vineyards or during production. Grapes are harvested by hand and vinified without the use of sulphur, “wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation”. Grapes for the Beaujolais Nouveau were sourced from vines 50-100 years old in a mixture of granite, clay and limestone soil. Fermented naturally (carbonic maceration) and aged in stainless steel, bottled unfiltered.
Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, blueberry and a hint of violet. Fresh cherry, blueberry and raspberry are framed by bright acidity. A trace of forest floor and an overall elegant softness add to the delightful, lovely character. Finishing dry and fruity. Lovely on its own, easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes.
Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété [Estate Bottled]
Estate: Located deep in the heart of Beaune, Maison Joseph Drouhin was founded over 130 years ago by Joseph Drouhin. Today the estate is headed by the 4th generation of the Drouhin family, Frédéric, along with his siblings Véronique, Philippe and Laurent. Throughout the years, the Drouhin family has been dedicated to “preserving the individuality of each appellation” and “has built a reputation for wines that primarily reflect their individual terroir and vintage”. With 73 hectares assembled over the years through purchases and agreements between families, the estate is one of the largest in all of Burgundy.
Philosophy: Natural practices have granted them the capability to achieve their goal of expressing “the exact character of each terroir” in their wines.
Winemaking: “Our credo is to bring natural answers to natural problems.” Certified organic since 2009, they are passionate about organic and biodynamic viticulture with methods such as herb-based vine treatments, natural predators rather than chemicals, and plowing by horse. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with pink granite soil.
Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black current, black cherry, violets and banana. Tart, red and black fruits [think strawberry, cranberry, blackberry, blueberry] are given a shake of white pepper and framed by fresh acidity. A floral element compliments the dry, fruity finish. Fresh and easy drinking, a spectacular value, consistently one of my favourite Beaujolais Nouveau.
Winemakers Note: Drink young at 14°-15°C [57°-59° F].
Bottled by Joseph Drouhin
Winery: Located in Portland, Oregon, Division Winemaking Company is an “urban winery” founded in 2010 by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe. The duo honed their winemaking and viticulture skills working in wineries in the Loire, Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Northern Rhone. Inspired by the time in France, they established Division Winemaking Company. They strive “to make approachable and balanced wines though minimal manipulation”. They source their grapes from “well farmed terroir expressive vineyards, many of which are organic and/or Biodynamic”. The Division-Villages label is their approachable, entry level label.
Philosophy: “A new generation of winemakers that are looking beyond the status quo to create unique styles of wine, with a purpose, a story and without barriers.”
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from Willard Vineyard in the Yakima Valley in Columbia Valley. The terroir was specifically chosen for Gamay: “The mineral intense soils formed from volcanic Miocene uplift against basalt bedrock that is layered with a primary top soil being made up of quartz and lime- silica, overlaid with the mixed sedimentary run- off of Missoula floods that makes the soils in the region so dynamic, unique, and in this case, perfect for making crisp and focused rosé!”
Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of cherry, strawberry, melon and a hint of floral. Silky smooth cherry, cranberry and strawberry with a drop of honey, complimented by clean granite minerality and mouth puckering acidity. A squeeze of lemon over cranberry on the crisp, refreshing finish.
100% Gamay Noir
Produced & Bottled by Division Winemaking Company
725 cases produced
Winery: Located in the western Alps of northwest Italy, Institut Agricole Régional is a school and research center dedicated to all types of farming. Founded in 1951, the institute is committed to agronomic, economic, fruit, wine and livestock development. Their viticulture department explores experimental plantings, such as international varieties and their possible suitability into the Valle d’Aosta region, along with preserving ancient varietals and historical vineyards.
Tasting Notes: Deep ruby red in colour with vivid aromas of strawberry, raspberry and chocolate. The flavours delightfully mirror the aromas, with red berries given a shake of crushed pink peppercorn. Bright acidity compliments the dry, yet plush finish. Easy drinking, fresh and fruity, this will disappear right before your eyes.
Vallée d’Aoste DOC
Produced and Bottled by Institut Agricole Régional
€ 10 [I enjoyed this in Florence, Italy, unfortunately it is currently not available in the US.]
Estate: The Chardon domaine is located along the banks of the Cher River in Couffy, in the Touraine region of the Loire Valley. Husband and wife team Sophie and Thierry Chardon cultivate 115 acres of vineyards, with an average vine age of 25 years. Raised on a vineyard in Touraine, Thierry’s family made wine for many generations, until his father was forced to sell the vineyard. Years later, Thierry and Sophie moved their family back to Touraine and purchased a domaine.
Winemaking: Certified organic since the late 2000’s, the believe in minimal intervention in both the vineyard and cellar. “Our wines emerge from grapes cultivated without chemical products, in respect of our environment.”
Tasting Notes: Transparent in red-violet in colour, with aromas of strawberry, resin and earthy funk. Strawberry, raspberry, along with sour cherry wrap around a floral core and are accented by sandalwood, white pepper, a dash of funk and a streak of granite minerality. Black cherry and a trace of tart wild berries linger between each sip. Smooth tannins and food friendly acidity compliment this fantastic, unique expression of Gamay.