Club Big House - March

Haut de Balmont – Clos de Vignes du Maynes (2013)

Winemaker: Julien Guillot
Soil: Granite
Age of Vines: 90 yrs
Grape Variety(s): Gamay
Style: Dry Red
Region: Beaujolais Leynes

Having just spent this past weekend with the energetic Julien Guillot, I am reminded of his intense passion for the craft as well as the almost unbelievable history his vineyard. With remnants of an old Roman wall on his southern Burgundy property, an 1100-year-old winemaking heritage dating back to the powerful medieval monks of Cluny, and nothing but selection massale to replant the vineyards (no clones), the Guillot family has every reason to believe that they are the oldest organically farmed winery in France. Julien Guillot is the contemporary steward of this land, worked by his family since 1954. Julien takes his role quite seriously. In 1998, he took the farming practices one step deeper into biodynamic viticulture. He is such an enthusiastic student of history that in 2009 and 2010, he reenacted a medieval harvest and the transportation of the barrels by oxcart to Cluny 9 months later. The grapes are harvested by hand and fermented in old oak foudres. Fruit undergoes partial wholecluster
fermentation, without any additional sulfur or foreign yeast cultures, and Julien leaves the finished wines unfined and unfiltered to showcase the layers of fruit. The 2013 vintage was cold, rainy and results and a unique extremely low alcohol, yet intense wine, coming in at just 10.5%. The Beaujolais Leynes comes from a small, high altitude parcel of old vines farmed just a few miles from Julien’s Clos. Serve cool and enjoy with charcuterie, chicken, and pork dishes. Zero sulphur!

Bourgogne Vezelay Blanc – Les Faverelles (2014)

Winemaker: Patrick Bringer
Soil: Clay / Limestone
Age of Vines: 25 yrs
Grape Variety(s): Chardonnay
Style: Dry Red
Region: Vezelay, Burgundy, France

Formerly a bookseller in Paris for 20 years, Patrick and his wife now live in the north Burgundian village of Asquins where she is also the mayor. They farm 6 hectares (15 acres) of vines in the Vezelay appellation, an even split of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a small amount of the ancient grape Cesar for blending. Not only do they work organically, but Asquins is also certified organic, which means no chemicals or pesticides are allowed in the village at all. Patricks is very committed to Biodynamic viticulture, and they are also recently Ecocert certified. Grapes are handpicked, fermented on indigenous yeasts and are not chapitalized or filtered and fermented 9-12 months in old oak. The cool climate of the region means that even in warmer vintages like 2009 the Bringer’s still make wines that are merely 12.5% in alcohol, retaining all freshness and delicacy. Of the beautiful 14s, the Blanc especially stands out. Fermented and aged in oak, this Chardonnay offers wonderful balance of fruit and acidity and drinks wonderfully now and will also mellow out beautifully
with a few years.