It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Beaujolais as
extraordinary – and as authentic – as the Beaujolais l’Ancien VV from J-P
Brun’s Terres Dorees estate. This 2018 vintage (another amazing French 2018) is
the highest rated vintage ever in Vinous for what must surely be THE best value
in top-quality Beaujolais.
And it’s been even longer since I’ve been able to sell
an outstanding Volnay from an outstanding (and maturing!) vintage for less than $30!
Gamay. L'Ancien comes from Jean Paul's oldest vines--hence the name of the
wine--in his home village of Charnay in the southern Beaujolais. They range in
age from 40 to 60 years old and are planted on slopes sporting the area's
signature sandy clay-limestone soils, featuring the particular local
"dorée" or "golden" limestone that is laden with iron.
These older vines have always been farmed organically and harvested by hand and
yield small, thick-skinned Gamay berries. As for all Terres Dorées reds, the
vinification is traditional Burgundian. The grapes are rigorously sorted and
destemmed, crushed and fermented with indigenous yeasts.