2018 Jean-Louis Dutraive Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie

$50

Fleurie is considered the most “feminine” of the Beaujolais Crus. They all have distinct aroma of peonies and fresh flowers and with age develop a sweet spice.

Notes of wild berries, cherries, rose petals, cinnamon and blood orange. Pretty, supple and enveloping, with a juicy core of fruit, fresh herbs, violets, ripe acids and melting tannins.

    Pairs with

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Gamay

The main variety planted, almost exclusively, in Beaujolais, France. Fruity, floral and uncomplicated this light-bodied red is a sure pleaser for the masses. Notably higher acid, low tannin, and aromatic, Gamay is a good pair with just about any manner or style of dishes. Drinkable young, affordable, and delicious, what’s not to like?

Beaujolais, France

Beaujolais is a small region in France located just south of Burgundy. The region is well-known around the world for specializing in the red grape, Gamay. Although, red, rosé, and white wines can be made here. Beaujolais has an ideal climate for the early budding and ripening Gamay, but producers have to be mindful of keeping their yields limited. As most regions in France, Beaujolais has their own hierarchy of appellations within the region. From the bottom to the top if hierarchy for labeling purposes is regional Beaujolais (bottom), Beaujolais Villages, then Beaujolais crus (top). Four of the greatest cru regions within Beaujolais that you’ll find readily available are Brouilly, Morgon, Fleurie, and Moulin-à-Vent. 

The lovely Gamay grape is generally fruity with fragrant aromas of raspberry and red cherry and has a lighter body style. It is usually best to consume this easy-drinking wine at a young age; we’d even suggest trying it at a slightly chilled temperature! There is even a separate particular style with its own name, Beaujolais Nouveau, that is specifically made for early drinking. Interesting fact: Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be released to consumers until the third Thursday in November after the vintage (year), and cannot be sold after the following 31st of August. If you love a light, porch-pounding red wine, make sure you get your hands on one of these! 

When Jean Dutraive purchased the Domaine de la Grand’Cour in 1969, it was already one of the oldest domaines in Fleurie. The Domaine encompasses 9 hectares divided between three contiguous terroirs: Grand’Cour, Chapelle des Bois, and Champagne. The family also has 1.6 hectares of Brouilly that have been in the family for five generations. Jean-Louis joined his father in 1977, and took over the domaine in 1989.

The domaine has been certified organic since 2009, but practicing organic for decades prior. Jean-Louis strives to make vins de terroir above all else, and follows the same principles of winemaking for each of his cuvées – hand harvesting, whole-cluster carbonic fermentation without any added sulfur, native yeast and no intervention or addition of oenologic products.

Jean-Louis is a true master of Gamay. In addition to his masterful skill producing some of the best wines in the Beaujolais, he is also a local legend who seems to have a never-ending supply of saucisson that appears at apéros any time of day.

This varietal Gamay comes from 30-year-old vines, aged in a combination of steel, vat, and foudre during 7 months. Clos de la Grand’Cour is the monopole vineyard surrounding the domaine that was purchased by Jean-Louis’s father when he moved to Fleurie in 1969. From a granit terroir at 300m altitude. 6.4 hectare vineyard, vines planted in 1970s.

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