2020 Domaine de Fa, Beaujolais “En Besset” France.
The beautiful ruby/garnet and deeply flavored Beaujolais En Besset, by Antoine and Maxime Graillot at Domaine de Fa, is much more complex and intense than you’d think, while still being hedonistically pleasing in the glass with a ripe core of dark fruits, spice, mineral and savory elements all coming together brilliantly in this 2020 vintage. Coming from one of the highest elevation vineyards of the whole Beaujolais appellation, which is located near Saint-Amour and Juliénas crus, the En Besset has classic granite based soils that helps elevate this bottling into a dense and structured wine, that rivals many much more expensive Cru Beaujolais. This ripe year adds some exotic fruit and floral nuances with crushed blackberry, cherry, plum and strawberry fruits leading the way on the vinous and plush palate, along with subtle earthiness, flinty stones, lilac, cinnamon spice, anise and delicate hard wood notes. There’s a fine cut of natural acidity and supple tannins that give this Beaujolais an extra dimension and age worthiness that you don’t often get here, it has potential to go a decade, though very rewarding right now, so no patience needed. I highly recommend that Domaine de Fa be on your watch list of Gamay producers and this is one to stock up on.

The famous Graillot family of the northern Rhone, the owners and winemakers, Maxime and Antoine Graillot, son’s of the late Alain Graillot, for both Domaine des Lises and Domaine Alain Graillot, the fabled Crozes-Hermitage producer, have teamed up to produce these Domaine de Fa Beaujolais wines, mainly from quality parcels of organic vines set in Fleurie and Saint Amour crus. With Antoine leading the efforts here at de Fa, since the Graillot’s bought land here back in 2013, there’s a lot to get excited about with the wines so far, with these 2020 offerings being very serious Gamay wines, especially this value packed En Besset Beaujolais effort. For the Domaine de Fa En Besset Beaujolais Antoine Graillot employed a natural and traditional approach in the cellar, much the same way as some of the regional stars, like Foillard, Lapierre and Dutraive, using 100% whole cluster, semi carbonic maceration, and native yeast fermentation, with the wines seeing a combination of cement and old wood for aging. In this case, just under a year in the concrete vat and lager demi-muid(s), all to show off a sense of place with clarity and rustic charm. The Graillot’s Domaine de Fa should be on your radar, they a studied collection of reasonably priced wines, that include a Fleurie, a Saint-Amour, this one, and a Saint-Veran cru Chardonnay, which I can’t wait to try as well!
($27 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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