2018 Domaine Ann-Sophie Dubois, Fleurie “L’Alchemiste” Cru Beaujolais, France.
The 2018 L’Alchimiste Fleurie by the hard working and talented Anne-Sophie Dubois is a gorgeous and textural pure Gamay with beautiful terroir driven elegance and nuance showing distilled lilacs, cinnamon spice and earthy tones behind a deep core of classic fruit with smooth and concentrated plum, wild strawberry and red currant flavors on the seamless and rounded medium bodied palate. This brilliant effort is every changing in the glass gaining detail and complexity with every sip, this dark ruby and purple Fleurie really turns on the charm with air, improving with an impressive satiny richness as well as adding some serious style along with touches of anise, cedar and sweet kirsch, finishing with expressive knowing smile, meaning it lingers with a confidence of a truly great wine! Dubois has really upped her game in recent vintages since I first started following her and this one takes her to the next level and puts her in the premier league of Cru Beaujolais with some of the regions iconic producers, this wine is right up there with Dutraive, Thevenet, Thivin, Foillard, Chanrion and Lapierre, which are a few of the legends of Gamay, putting her in some fabulous company quality wise! Anne-Sophie Dubois looks to be a longtime star and gift with Gamay is not in doubt, her 2018s are proof and I love this L’Alchemiste, I highly recommend getting in on it and allowing this young winemaker, this is really exciting times for Gamay lovers and Dubois has a studied collection of sublime wines from which to choose, including this one that has a profound sense of place and clarity of flavors.

Anne-Sophie Dubois, who is interestingly enough a Champagne native, born and raised around bubbly and who studied winemaking in Burgundy, is one of this latest generation of vignerons that are expressing themselves to wonderful effect here in Beaujolais, bringing some new life to this ancient region and still honoring the traditions and history here. She caught the wine bug early, and after falling in love with Gamay manage to scape together the finances to purchase some fantastic all organic old vine parcels in the Fleurie Cru set on the granitic soils that give this area its distinct personality. Spending her formative years learning the ropes in the Cote d’Or was time well spent as her wines show incredible detail and elegance. Her wines have already got lots of attention and even caught the eye of author and famous columnist Jon Bonne of Punch magazine, who says that Dubois makes some of the most soulful, Burgundy-like versions of Beaujolais that he’s encountered, adding that her Fleurie has a bit of fealty to the Cote d’Or! The bookish and appealingly nerdy Anne-Sophie with her cute glasses named her L’Alchimiste cuvee after the Paulo Coelho novel and like the book shows what she’s learned and was able to apply those experiences to her efforts. She went with 100% de-stemmed grapes, that came from her 40 year old vines, for this edition, and while Anne-Sophie does use whole-cluster and carbonic maceration in another bottling, went with classic winemaking here, this one benefits from her approach allowing the inner beauty to shine. The L’Alchemiste was aged for close to 15 months in a combination of cement and a range of different sized neutral French oak barrels and casks with the final blend being bottled unfined and unfiltered, it shows Dubois’ very gifted touch with beautiful transparency and purity.
($30 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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