2020 Domaine Chapel, Fleurie, Charbonnières, Cru Beaujolais, France.
The Charbonnières Fleurie by Domaine Chapel, an all new wine for me, is beautifully aromatic and juicy on the medium bodied palate with clean fresh layers of red berry, plum, strawberry and cherry fruits along with vibrant acidity, mineral tones, peony florals and a very delicate earthiness, making for an elegant and refined Fleurie that lingers on the finish with dried herbs and subtle spices. This wine is sourced from the Charbonnières vineyard, which has mature vines over forty years old and at an elevation close to 400 meters up with a nice southwest exposure and set on Fleurie’s unique pink granite soils, along with a scattering of sand and stones. This vividly dark ruby colored Gamay was the result of terroir and transparency in the winemaking here, which saw 100% de-stemmed grapes, indigenous yeast whole berry fermentation, which feels carbonic and ultra smooth, all done in cement and aged in a combination of the cement, as well as different sized used French oak casks.
The Domaine Chapel was founded by David Chapel and Michele Smith-Chapel in the cru village of Régnié and have had the help of the famous Domaine Lapierre’s Mathieu and Camille with the two New Yorkers moving to Beaujolais to pursue their dreams of making naturally style Gamay wines. David Chapel, while working at Domaine Lapierre in 2013 met his future wife, Michele Smith, a well known Brooklyn wine director who along with David fell in love with the wines and the place. They were able to purchase some Gamay vines, with their Charbonnières flagship wine coming from an old vine plot in Fleurie, this along with plots in Juliénas and Beaujolais-Villages, which the Chapel’s making a set of wines that see meticulous attention to detail in their cellar. Domaine Chapel created a buzz with their very first wine, their 2016 Juliénas “Côte de Bessay” and now with a few more vintages under their belt things are looking good here and the 2020 Charbonnières Fleurie will impress Gamay fans with its purity and delicious nature. I very much enjoyed this year’s Domaine Chapel and can easily recommend this one for Beaujolais and Gamay fans.
($40 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive