Localization: Morgon, Beaujolais, France
Tasting Notes: It shows a medium red/purple color with very pretty aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, wild strawberry, and violet with citrus peel and earth. The palate shows sappy raspberry and cherry fruit with earth and mineral flavors, really showing the terroir. This is delicious now and shows a structure indicating ten to fifteen years of possible aging.
Notes: From four hectares of massale-selection, high-density plantings ranging from 50 to 100 years of age in the lieu-dits of Chenes, Corcelette, and Les Martillets. Jean-Claude Chanudet and his wife Geneviève (Chamonard) at Domaine Chamonard are making some of the finest wines in the Beaujolais. His father-in-law, Joseph Chamonard, was farming with organic methods and making wine in the Chauvet style along with his friends in Morgon - Guy Breton, Jean Thevenet, Marcel Lapierre, and Jean Foillard. The 4-hectare estate is farmed with great care, although not certified organic, fermentations are with wild yeasts and aging is in large old casks and foudres.
Food pairing: Enjoy it with friends around a ribeye or a meat and rice dish.
The Domain: Having lived and worked among the ‘superstars’ of Beaujolais, Joseph Chamonard created a wonderful environment for his vines in Morgon. On the hill of Morgon, his vines stayed healthy without chemical assistance, remaining in their natural living soils alongside the packed earth and starved vines of his neighbors. Sadly, Joseph passed away in 1990, leaving his daughter Genevieve and her husband Jean-Claude Chanudet to carry on the health of his 4-hectare parcels, located in Corcelette, near the town of Ville-Morgon. With each successive vintage, the duo has strictly disavowed chemical treatments, in and out of the vineyards. Harvest is done by hand late in the season for full natural ripeness and complexity, with only natural yeasts used for fermentation and little else done outside of patient guidance to its natural end. The wine is made the traditional way with respect to nature.
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We would consider all wine to be "Natural". The term "Natural Wine" has the connotation of lacking a touch with nature. The winegrowers we champion are those who are farmers first. They seek to capture the uniqueness of the site (terroir) in the purest way possible. The product is as pure as possible and without wine-making flaws (brettanomyces, mercaptans, volatile acidity, etc.
Raw, in this case, we define as realistic and not manipulated. The winemakers use the least amount of intervention as possible. Wine should be made in the vineyard, not the cellar. The winemaker's job is to get the wine into the bottle in the purest form possible. There are additives that go into making wine, some are essential and some are not. Wines in this category do not have extra additives. They are free of added sulfur, or have the most minimal amounts possible in order to provide shelf stability for the consumer to experience the wine as the winemaker intended it to be.