2018 Domaine des Terres Dorées par Jean-Paul Brun, Beaujolais “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes, France.
One of Beaujolais’ treasures and more delicate producers, Jean-Paul Brun, who started his small winery back in 1979, and who’s Domaine des Terres Dorées is located in Charnay, a village in the Southern Beaujolais just north of Lyons, is known for silky Gamay wines like this new 2018 L’Ancien and fresh Chardonnay as well. The lighter and fresher 2018 Domaine des Terres Dorees L’Ancien is delightful in the glass with strawberry, tangy cherry and wild plum fruits with a charming mineral and floral character and a soft pleasing texture and a lingering fruity finish, adding hints of violets, earthy walnut, chalky stones and herbs. The L’Ancien Vieilles Vignes is comfortable in its own skin, it drinks beautifully without pretense, it is freely a naked Gamay that strides with a quiet confidence and shows absolute purity of the grape and place.
Grown on Burgundy like clay and limestone soils, rather than the more iconic granite that resides in the more famous plots in the Cru Beaujolais site, the old vine L’Ancien Beaujolais was fermented with 100% de-stemmed hand picked Gamay grapes and the fermentation and aging is in cement vats. This savvy Gamay coming from 80 plus year old vines was made to Jean-Paul’s guiding principles of using indigenous yeasts, low natural alcohol and minimal sulfur, making it what he calls an old-style Beaujolais and a more natural wine without dogma. This bright ruby colored L’Ancien Old Vine Beaujolais, which is best served with a chill and with complimentary cuisine, is lacy, vibrant and easy to love. Brun’s wines never disappoint and while not readily available and geeky cool, they are very good values and deliver an honest performance, they are always a treat when they can be found, especially with holidays meals.
($24 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive