Localization: Burgundy, France
Tasting Notes: Fine, balanced, long and intense, a wonderful Cru Beaujolais from stellar terroir.
The Domain: Nico auspiciously was born on the eve of a Beaujolais nouveau harvest. He is of the fourth winemaking generation of his family. Though Nicolas is young, he's incorporated into his old school winery the best of tradition in the cellar with the wisest of modern know-how in the vineyards. Nicolas started by helping to make wine with his father, then at another nearby winery, next winemaking school in Mâcon. Finally Nicolas took over from his father in 2005. The first step he took was to create his own label (Lucien, Nico’s father, makes his own wines too, under his own label Domaine des Villiers) to begin following his own vision. His property is small: only several acres of farmland and vineyards scattered across the nearby steep hills. Production is miniscule averaging around 700 cases a year.
For many years his and other families in the Marchampt sector of the Beaujolais-Villages appellation produced Beaujolais commercially. While there were some local wines of value and appeal, the area was never highly regarded. Nicolas realized his family's terroir—its granite soils, altitude and exposures—had all the ingredients for making wonderful wines. He has instituted important changes in the care and health of his vineyards while moving his farming toward organic principles. A man close to the earth, Nicolas follows the cycles of the moon in some of his decisions from farming to bottling. He notes plants and animals are sensitive to its activities in relation to earth. All these factors combine to bring the Chemarin wines closer to pure nature and what the land provides. Lastly, he uses only a touch of sulphur (far less than most) at bottling to held secure balance and freshness while avoiding frailty, a failing of some non-sulfured, natural wines of the region.