2018 Domaine du Château de Grand Pré, Fleurie “Cuvee Spaciale” Cru Beaujolais, France.
Run by Christine, Claude and Romain Zordan, the Domaine du Chateau de Grand Pre in Fleurie was totally new to me and I really enjoyed their classically styled and smooth Fleurie Cuvee Spaciale with the Spaceman on the label, its a beautifully textured and fruit forward wine on the lighter side showing the regions delicate and elegant side. After a bit of studying I came up with some details about the estate, which has been certified organic since 2009 and has many old vine parcels within the main Crus and most are over 60 years old. Domaine Château de Grand Pré makes Fleurie, like this one, plus Morgon and Brouilly Grand Crus, as well as a basic Beaujolais. Romain, who is the vigneron here is a big advocate of Jules Chauvet, the historic local natural wine figure and chemist who’s influence is widely felt in the Beaujolais area, he was the godfather of re-birth of the region’s quality and you can see this adherence to these principles in the Château de Grand Pré wines, with the style being similar to Sunier, Lapierre, Dutraive and Thevenet. The dark and ruby colored Fleurie is impressive in the glass with its florals and its silky but bright brambly fruits make for a delicious Summer red.

The grapes at Château de Grand Pré are all hand-tended and picked with only carefully ripe whole bunches being used, then the wine undergoes a semi-carbonic maceration for 15-20 days at very low temperatures. Zordan allows the natural fermentation to occur without any interference, in fact no remonatge or pigeage takes place during the process in the cellar. Once fermentation is complete, in the case of the Cuvee Spaciale, as noted, a low temperature vinification and maceration with wild yeast in a spherical vat with no sulphur added, the Fleurie was then matured for about 8 months in large used 600L barrels. The finished wine was bottled based on biodynamic and lunar cycles and gently handled throughout to preserve purity and freshness. This 100% Gamay comes from 60 to 70 year old vines planted on sandy soils, with a granitic core with some of the pink veins of iron rich subsoil(s) helping to give this wine its terroir flavors and character. The 2018 Château de Grand Pré Cuvee Spaciale flows across the palate with racy raspberry, plum, bright cherry and cranberry fruits along with snappy herbs and spices adding a cool sense of minerallity, crushed dark flowers an d a subtle earthiness that is very much welcome in this soft and expressive Gamay. This is a fun new discovery for me and I can’t wait to dig into some of the other bottlings here soon.
($35 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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