2019 Beaujolais lands in the nick of time
It’s the archetypal spring red, and it was touch and go there for a moment with the 2018 of Dominique Piron’s Beaujolais-Villages flying out the door throughout winter.
Fortunately the 2019 landed in the nick of time. As is standard at Piron, the fruitier, more straightforward wines are bottled as straight Beaujolais, while those with a touch more depth and structure make the Beaujolais-Villages label. But you can always count on Dominique and his sidekick Julien Revillon to make unadulterated drinking pleasure a priority.
The Beaujolais-Villages is joined by the Fleurie cru from 2019. True to name and form, this always presents exceptional prettiness – but look a little closer and you’ll always find that underlying minerality and detail.
The vines for Dominique Piron Beaujolais-Villages surround the crus on the hills of the northern half of Beaujolais. They mostly have an east-facing exposition and have sandy granitic soils comprising small stones that store the sun’s heat and then release it gently during the night. This helps conserve the natural freshness of the fruit. These vines at 50 years old on average. 100% Gamay grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed (around 20% bunches are kept intact) and selected on a sorting table. Fermentation takes place in cement and stainless steel. The fermentation never lasts longer than 8-10 days in order to preserve freshness.
Ripe cherry and raspberry, spice, a sort of pressed rose perfume. Medium-bodied, quite deep in flavour with a pleasing roundness, a bit of grainy tannin, meat and dried herb, and a good finish. It’s just a really good drink, and very accessible.91 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
The cru is situated in the north of Beaujolais. The pink granite of the soils of steep Fleurie vineyards are more acid and produce lighter, more delicate wines than, say, Morgon, and can be some of the most charming of all Beaujolais. This Dominique Piron Fleurie comes from 50-year-old vines and is perhaps a bit more mineral than the supple Brouilly, a slightly more ‘serious’ affair.
Fresh ripe raspberry, dried rose and spice, something a bit stony about it too, I’d suggest. Medium-bodied at most, light grip from fine powdery tannin, fresh and juicy feel, pretty and a little bit serious at once. Finish is bright and succulent. A wine very at ease with itself, and wonderful to drink.
94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front