2018 Chateau de Pierreux, Bouilly, Monopole Reserve de Chateau, Cru Beaujolais, France.
The historic and regal Chateau de Pierreux estate, which sits below Mont Bouilly is now owned by the famous Boisset family, from Burgundy, and has 190 acres of Gamay within their Cru Beaujolais property with this wine being the best lot selection from their Monopole Brouilly parcel and is a solid, well made traditional, Burgundy style offering that drinks nicely with pure varietal and terroir character. This 2018 Reserve de Chateau Brouilly has a pretty floral bouquet and mineral toned red berry fruits that flow smoothly on the polished medium bodied palate showing black raspberry, plum, strawberry and vibrant cherry fruits, a light sense of spice, anise, cedar and chalky stones. As a big fan of Beaujolais and Gamay wines, it is very cool to see wines like this on wine menus by the glass, especially in unexpected places that normally have very generic offerings, so while this wine may not be as exciting as some of my favorite producers, it was a happy experience and fun, and it got better with food and air, bringing plenty of smiles, even hanging in their with grilled artichokes and an endive salad.

The Chateau de Pierreux, which dates back to the 13th century, is organically farmed using mainly biodynamic methods and treatments and makes two main Gamay bottlings, their regular Brouilly Château de Pierreux and this Réserve du Château de Pierreux, which is the signature wine of the domaine and imported to the states and widely available. The Pierreux vineyards, according to the winery, cover some varied terrain within the Brouilly appellation set on a combination of granite based soils, with a mix of sand, volcanic porphyry, some shale and even a little flint, all of which give these wines their complexity and depth of terroir influenced flavors. This wine, made by the very experienced Patrice Monternier, which was all de-stemed and saw about a two week Burgundian style fermentation, rather than the whole cluster approach, then was allowed a long cool maceration period, then was raised and matured for 6 months in large large oak barrels with a small percentage of new French oak, that is barely noticeable in the form of a kiss of sweet toastiness and the satiny textural quality. This Chateau de Pierreux Reserve de Chateau Bouilly is a great way to to start exploring Beaujolais and is especially appealing for the Gamay novice or newbie, plus it is well priced for the quality on offer.
($24 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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