2016 Julien Sunier, Wild Soul, Vin de France, Beaujolais, France.
This 100% Gamay is really a Beaujolais Village from Julien Sunier, he had a small crop in 20216 and went searching for organic old vine grapes and found a plot from an unclassified zone in Beaujolais Village and blended in some Cru Regnie to create this lovely and bright Wild Soul, and I can tell you it’s an underrated setl of a wine that you should search out, especially for holiday fare. At first this traditional Gamay seems simple and fresh, but it is a serious wine that takes Gamay to a Cru level with air, I think most people will look at the label and even take the first sip and not fully recognize how good and complex this wine is, Julien who is a major Gamay talent, along with Foillard, Lapierre, Dutraive and Clotaire Michal (one of my new favorites), uses whole cluster and native ferments with ultra low sulfur in crafting his beautiful wines is one of the region’s stars. This Wild Soul was whole cluster/semi carbonic fermented in glass fiber bin/tanks and aged in a big concrete egg on it’s fine lees with no added sulfur during vinification, with only a tiny dose at bottling making for an excitingly vibrant Gamay that has a classic juicy start with bright red fruits and pretty floral bouquet before deeper elements come on with time in the glass and a dark purple hue, it takes a bit to find it’s feet, but once fully awoke this wine starts singing with black currants, cranberry, strawberry and wild plum fruits storming across the palate along with subtle walnut oil, minty herbs, flinty spices, waxy crushed violets, anise and blood orange marmalade. This is fun and pleasing Gamay from Sunier, I highly recommend it, but if you want more seriousness and sensuality look for the brilliant Sunier Fleurie and Morgon Cru Beaujolais both of which take Gamay to the next level, this 2016 vintage cements Julien Sunier’s place in that elite set of winemakers, these are impressive and gorgeous wines not to be missed.
($26 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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