Big Trouble in Little Chenás – Clos des Vignes du Maynes (2013)
Winemaker: Julien Guillot
Age of Vines: 30 yrs
Grape Variety(s): Gamay
Style: Dry Red
Region: Chenás, Beaujolais, France
Operating on a historic estate founded by Cluny Monks in existence since year 910 (yep, over 1,000 years!), Julien Guillot is producing some of the most beautiful and interesting wines in southern Burgundy. A former professional actor, Julien took over as winemaker for his father, Alain, about 10 years ago. During our visit two weeks ago, we caught Julien at the tail end of his harvest season, which meant the opportunity to taste through young juice finishing fermentation as well as some of his more aged cuveés, a wonderful education on how his wines evolve over time. The setup is an ideal stage for the curious, enigmatic Guillot, with beautiful limestone caves housing his barrels at ideal temperature and secret Roman-era passages leading to hidden tasting room.
Big Trouble in Little Chenás is 100% Gamay vinified in Julien’s cave in neutral oak barrels for 10
months. For the fruit, Julien works closely with an organic vineyard in the village of Chenás (one of the Cru Beaujolais villages), about 30 minutes from his estate. The 2013 vintage was a cooler year in the area, resulting in a wine driven by acidity and texture. The light-bodied Burgundian funk and juiciness of this wine make it one of our favorities. We prefer to enjoy “Big Trouble” with a pretty good chill on it…zero sulphur additions and quaffable! In case you were wondering, the name of the wine is an intentional play on the cult classic film “Big Trouble in Little China.”
Adele – Eric Texier (2014)
Winemaker: Eric Texier
Age of Vines: 40 yrs
Grape Variety(s): Clairette
Style: Dry White, Sur Lie
Region: Northern Rhone, France
Eric Texier became a winemaker after a prior career and without any background in vines or wines. As such, his methods developed not from years of schooling, but from his readings and visiting winemakers around the world. After giving up the idea of buying vineyards, which was too costly a proposition for a beginner with his ambitions, he started a small negoce where he selected interesting vineyard plots from hard-working farmers who grew the healthy grapes he wanted to buy and vinify. He re-discovered nearly forgotten areas of ancient fame, like the new St.-Julien en St.-Alban, a heretofore unknown plot of ancient Syrah vines on the west bank of the Rhone that had been tended by protestant monks and has never seen artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Eric’s goal is always to provide the grapes, musts and wines with the best environment and intervene as little as possible.