Localization: Beaujolais, France
Tasting Notes: This powerhouse Gamay from Yann Bertrand comes from 80- to 100-year-old vines in the heart of Morgon. Fruit is organically farmed, carbonically macerated without SO2, and aged for 7-9 months in used barrels (minimum 10 years old). For a more muscular side of Gamay, this is your bottle.
Notes: Morgon Dynamite is the confidential cuvée made from the tiny sliver of vines at Grand Pré that reach across the boundary into Morgon. So while the label says Morgon, the soul is definitely in Fleurie. Like everything at the domaine, this wine is naturally vinified without any added yeast or SO2.
The Domain: Yann Bertrand learned to make wine from Yvon Metras, more-or-less the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the region. Growing up in Fleurie, Yann Bertrand never thought he would become a winemaker. He briefly enrolled in commerce at a local university, then traveled around the French Alps for a few years. When applying for local jobs, he noted that he was the son of a vigneron and soon found himself working at wine bars and wine shops, surrounded by passionate wine geeks and artisan winemakers who often came to deliver wine themselves. Tasting wines in a new way, he began to ask himself some questions and eventually decided that the metier of a winemaker would be interesting to him if he pursued it with the same passion as the role models he encountered.
Returning to the Beaujolais, Yann began to learn from the incredible circle of producers that he never knew before, including well-known people like Jean Foillard and Yvon Metras, as well as the behind-the-scenes guru Jacques Neauport (who was the quiet right-hand to the legendary Jules Chauvet).
All of the vines are farmed organically and located in a single 7.5-hectare block known as Grand Pré. The vineyards are 30-110 years old, planted on extremely fine sandy granite soils, and all winemaking is done using cold carbonic whole cluster fermentations that were developed in the Beaujolais, as well as no added SO2. Yann's parents had been slowly moving in the direction of organic viticulture since they took over the family Domaine in 1992, and in 2013, the entire vineyard was certified organic. Additionally, Yann took on 1.5 hectares to farm on his own using biodynamic principles. Thanks to incredible farming and a knack for Gamay, Yann Bertrand has justifiably become one of the most sought-after producers in the region.
Following two unusually small harvests, Yann created a line of négociant wines in 2016 following strict criteria that all vineyards must be plowed and farmed without any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. The grapes are always purchased “sur pied” and harvested by Yann and his team, and vinification is done with native yeasts. Elevage and bottling take place at the Domaine, just as with every other wine produced at the estate.