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2013 Fleurie, Les Moriers, Domaine Cedric Chignard
Michel Chignard's 8 hectares of vines are situated right at the top of the hill bordering Moulin-à-Vent, on pure granitic soil in the heart of the Fleurie appellation. The Moriers lieu-dit contains the oldest vines, some of which are over 40-years-old and all of which are free-standing in traditional gobelet style.
Vinification is divided between stainless steel, cement and large wooden tanks, all using the classic whole bunch method for the maximum extraction of fruit. The subtly differing cuvées are then blended early in the spring and allowed to harmonise over three to four months.
Chignard's Fleuries are unusually concentrated, intensely aromatic and have a depth of fruit and structure seldom found in wines form this village.
Young Cédric Chignard has been involved in the vinification process for the last few vintages, under the watchful eye of his father.
A French variety planted predominately in Beaujolais where it is the grape behind everything from light and often acidic Beaujolais Nouveau through to the more serious and well-structured wines from the 10 cru villages. It takes its name from a hamlet just outside Chassagne-Montrachet and was at one stage widely planted on the Côte d`Or. However it was gradually phased out due to its poor yield and supposed poor quality of its wines.
The majority of Gamay wines in Beaujolais are labelled as Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Villages and are deliciously juicy, easy drinking, gulpable wines. Of more interest are the Cru wines from the 10 villages in the north of the region where the soil is predominantly granitic schist and where the vines are planted on gently undulating slopes. These can be well-structured, intensely perfumed wines, redolent of ripe black fruits and, while delicious young, will reward medium term cellaring.
Gamay is also grown in the Touraine region of the Loire where it produces soft, well-balanced, gluggable wines for drinking young.
Evocatively-named, Fleurie epitomises all that is good about the region with its perfumed, silky, moreish style. Its 800ha of vineyards produce some of the finest, popular and most expensive wines in the region. As its name suggests, this quintessential Beaujolais is fresh, floral, fragrant and feminine.
Despite initial impressions to the contrary, its silky fruit has suprising depth and concentration that allows the wine to age as well as any in the region. At the same time it is wonderfully approachable almost immediately, which may also explain its popularity. Its more powerful examples, like Michel Chignard's ‘Les Moriers’ come from close to the border with northerly neighbour Moulin-à-Vent.