The Grape Collector

Domaine du Mont Verrier
Gamay
Beaujolais Pierres Dorées 2020
HVE sustainable & working on organic, hand harvested, indigenous yeasts
Saint Julien, Beaujolais, France
Owner & winemaker: Gérard Legrand

Deep ruby and purple pops. Breathing in mellow fresh & dried cherry with a bit of vanilla, dark plums, prunes, dried Turkish Smyrna figs, raspberries, a bit of earth, and the lightest hint of cinnamon. Wow, all that and we still haven’t gotten to the taste, so here we go! Sipping a light & lovely summer red with a backbone that’s filled with tart and smooth cherries, prunes, young plums, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, a pinch of black pepper, and a little bit of friendly forest pixie magic dream. 🧚‍♀️

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it darker and a little more weight

This domaine has a lengthy history dating back to the 17th century that includes 2 centuries of Aubry family residence, a hospice, and nuns. Nowadays, it’s driven (and resurrected) by Gérard Legrand and his passion for the property’s past, and the part that fascinates me the most is his grape/vine compilation. His ampelographic collection and preservation ranges 200 grapes (some are quite rare)! That takes a lot of commitment, collaboration with French Institute of the Vine and Wine, hard work, research, and a little bit of obsession in a good way. As climate change continues we may all be looking to him, his knowledge, and foresight to keep us from running out of delicious French wine. Thank you so much, Mr. Legrand! 🍷

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Rouge Rebel

Domaine No Control
Délire du Désordre 2019
Vin de France
Gamay
Converting to organic, biodynamic practices, hand harvest, and unfiltered
Auvergne/Beaujolais, France
Winemaker: Vincent Marie (he also has exceptional taste in music 🤘🎸)

A swirl of dark ruby & purple. Before we get any further let it breathe. Decant this baby and out will pop and crack some leather, bright cherry, vanilla whiff, then here come the flowers. There’s roses, lilacs, lilies, and everything just keeps exploding and also some barny (not the dinosaur) funk. On with the show…sipping cherries & dried cherries, olive pits, smidge of leather, and a whole bunch of juicy goodness of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries laced with balsamic. Is it rustic…is it punk or is it a mix of all with funk?

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: smooths it all out

This bottle intrigues me like the silent bad boy with the leather jacket and motorcycle that did doughnuts in mom’s flower patch but still manages to pick me a bouquet. Maybe our 2nd rendezvous with this rebel tonight will let me see a bit more his soft sensitive side. Or maybe I’ll just roll with this Gamay Auvergne/Beaujolais fusion mix and crank some “Rage Against The Machine”.

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Pass the Fried Chicken

Domaine Christophe Pacalet
Beaujolais Nouveau 2019
Gamay
Beaujolais AOP
Les Bruyères, Cercie, France
Native yeasts, hand harvested, “lutte raisonnée” vine cultivation
Winemaker: Christophe Pacalet

Light young garnet. Open that door and release that touch of barn that runs out the yard. Next are aromas of cinnamon, plum, raspberries, cloves, and cherries. Taking the first sip and there’s more of that plum with a touch of sharp twang, chocolate, cherry (but not chocolate covered cherries), smoke, a ping of orange, and oddly blueberry and mango.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: just more juicy

Christophe Pacalet did have wine in his blood but took on a stint of biochemistry and cooking before returning to Beaujolais to learn from his famed (Morgon) uncle Marcel Lapierre. Who better to guide him along this path. Christophe has taken the route of renting instead of purchasing a vineyard. This gives him a chance to work with old vines and pick from the best. Yes, there’s less grapes, but better wine in the end. Have to add, this is a great wine for southern food. Seriously, it is. It went fab with my potato salad with hot peppers and capers. Also would work well with a good homemade fried chicken, especially the legs and thighs. Just remember, as I was taught by my mom…if you want good fried chicken soak it in salt water in the fridge over night. Don’t forget to make a side of jalapeño cornbread and mustard greens doused in hot pepper vinegar too, for a delicious evening you aren’t soon to forget.

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Old Vines Make Fine Wine

Terres Dorées
Beaujolais L’Ancien Vieilles Vignes 2018
100% Gamay
Charnay, France
Organic, sustainable, hand harvested, indigenous yeasts
Winemaker: Jean-Paul Brun

Swirling a deep glistening Gamay garnet glass. Fragrant strawberries, raspberries, and fresh cherries fill my nose and this is a breath of happiness. Once I take a sip, I find all sorts of berry juice from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and more. There’s also some rugged cherry, and lots of citrus popping. Earth, cedar, and some sage that all say drink this baby NOW!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: juicy fruity

This lovely wine with the very telling name “L’Ancien” comes from some of the oldest vines at Terres Dorées which are anywhere from 40 to 60 years. Nice having a youngster birthed from such aged lineage. Instead of going carbonic with his wines, Jean-Paul Brun has stuck with the traditional Burgundian vinification method where the grapes are lovingly hand harvested, destemmed, and only indigenous yeasts that sprout forth are allowed. Jean-Paul sees this as the way to allow the to Gamay shine and also not to be forgotten the sustainable land where it all started from. Sometimes and more often than not, the natural ways of the past are where we should return.

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