2019 Domaine Yohan Lardy, Moulin à Vent, Vieilles Vignes de 1903, Cru Beaujolais, France.
An absolutely stunning effort from Yohan Lady and his old vine parcels in the Moulin à Vent, this 2019 Vieilles Vignes de 1903 is as pure as Gamay gets, but has the class, textural pleasure and the perfumed aromatics of a top Chambolle-Musigny, I cannot believe how good this bottle is and even more unbelievable is how I’ve missed this wine and producer until now! My first ever experience with a Cru Beaujolais that I can remember was a Diochon Moulin à Vent and it set me on a path to become a Gamay geek and enthusiast, but this Lardy Vieilles Vignes de 1903 is on another level, it is by far the best thing I’ve ever tried from this zone and rivals my preferred Morgan and Fleurie favorites, consider me impressed. The nose is heavenly with crushed violets and rosewater lifting from the glass along with a touch of spice and dark berries that lead to a satiny medium to full bodied palate of red currants, plum, cherry and strawberry fruits accented nicely by hints of wild herbs, crushed stones, subtle damp earth, anise and dark walnut. This new generation of Cru Beaujolais producers are taking these wines to the next level and Lardy the younger is one of the stars, with this Moulin à Vent Vieilles Vignes de 1903 being an outrageously seductive Gamay, with energy, length and grace, I’m going to have to get more of this and I suggest Gamay fans do too.

Those, like myself, that follow Lapierre, Foillard, Dutraive, Thevenet, Dubois and Sunier to name a few, will instantly recognize the quality here, Yohan Lardy is the fifth generation of the Lardy family to make wine in the Beaujolais, but his 2012s were the first releases under his own label. He, as the top winemakers in the region do, farms his vines organically, plowing in between the rows and in the cellar has followed the local natural winemaking traditions of the famed Jules Chauvet, who led a revolution away from industrial farming and back to old school methods and who inspired the likes of Marcel Lapierre and Jean Foillard, as well as countless others. This terroir driven micro-cuvée, the winery says, comes from ancient 114 year old Gamay vines planted up at 300 meters elevation and set on granite, quartz and manganese based soils. The youthful Lardy employs a full whole-cluster semi carbonic fermentation that he allows to begin spontaneously in concrete or polyethylene tanks and it typically lasts up to three weeks. Per normal by the top guys here, there is no SO2 is added during maceration and the fermentation process here with Yohan applying a gentle touch throughout, looking for terroir transparency in his wines. He then ages his Cru wines in old Burgundy barrels for 8-12 months before bottling, which is done without filtration, it is very much a passion and respect for place that shines through in these wines, especially this gorgeous old vine Moulin à Vent. I’m so glad I was able to try and reflect on this wine, it was a perfect way to celebrate the holy eve, Joyeux Noël.
($35 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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