Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorées Morgon 2021


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Alcohol: 13%

Grape(s): 100% Gamay

Localization: Beaujolais, France

Tasting Notes: A great example of the Morgon cru. Aromas of cherries, plums, and berries mingled with hints of peony. A medium to full-bodied, ample wine that's a touch firmer and more structured than its Fleurie counterpart. Drink with a light chill, as all Beaujolais ought to be.

Notes: From the Bellevue lieu-dit in Morgon near the Côte du Py. The vines are planted on a slight, south-facing slope on sandy, schistous, granitic soils. The farming is sustainable and the harvest is done by hand. As for all Terres Dorées wines, the vinification is traditional Burgundian: the bunches are destemmed and fermented with native yeasts and without sulfur in concrete tank. The maceration lasts around 4 weeks. The wine is aged in concrete for 6-8 months and bottled with light, non-sterile filtration, and minimal sulfur.

The Domain: Jean-Paul Brun started Terres Dorées in 1979 with a mere 4 hectares of vines in Charnay in the southern Beaujolais, an area which is slightly warmer and more limestone-driven versus the more renowned granite-rich cru villages in the northern Beaujolais. Today, the Charnay estate is around 30 acres, but with an additional 15 hectares farmed in the crus. The farming in Charnay is organic and includes working of the soils; the cru parcels are farmed sustainably and the soils are not worked. Harvest is by hand and of well-ripened but not over-ripened fruit, so alcohol levels are generally modest. Annual Terres Dorées production is around 350,000 bottles, 85-90% of it from estate fruit with the rest of it sourced. From the beginning, Jean-Paul carved a different path for himself in Beaujolais. Not only does he not chaptalize (a common practice here), he has also always eschewed the relatively modern technique of carbonic maceration, in favor of traditional Burgundian vinification. His feeling was and remains that the character of Gamay and its varied terroirs is obscured by whole-cluster fermentation, as well as by the use of commercial yeasts and copious sulfur. He has never strayed from that philosophy, continuing to carefully sort and destem his grapes; add no yeast; add no sulfur (until a touch at bottling); allow for several weeks’ maceration; do regular pigeage or punch-downs; and age in a combination of concrete and old oak, varying with vintage and wine. Jean-Paul is not an adherent or advocate of “natural wine” per se, yet is among the most natural of Beaujolais vignerons, uninterested in trend or fashion but deeply committed to the purity of expression of fruit and site. The individuality of those expressions--the fact that each is a different wine from all of the others--is intentionally emphasized by his choice to label every one of his many bottlings with a completely different label.