2017 Fleurie, Domaine Lafarge Vial, Beaujolais, Burgundy

2017 Fleurie, Domaine Lafarge Vial, Beaujolais, Burgundy

Product: 20171387719
2017 Fleurie, Domaine Lafarge Vial, Beaujolais, Burgundy

Description

Thanks to the hail, this is a blend of three lieux-dits – Bel Air, Cercillon and Joie du Palais – which were harvested at a minuscule 8hl/ha. The fruit was all de-stemmed and raised in 350-litre barrels (because there wasn't enough to go into a foudre). The result is unsurprisingly concentrated with lots of red fruit, plenty of weight and a finish of granitic tannins. Drink 2020-2025.

Michel Lafarge (b. 1928) and his son Frédéric make use of their combined experience to produce some of the greatest wines in Volnay. There is nothing modern in their winemaking, though the meticulous care of their biodynamically farmed vineyards puts the domaine at the forefront of viticultural practices. When they are working on a patch of vines they are usually accompanied by their hens who eat up any lurking pests. The grapes are de-stemmed, vinified traditionally and very little new oak is used in the cellar. In 2014, they purchased vineyards in the Beaujolais which are farmed using the same biodynamic practices as employed in the Côte de Beaune.

Frédéric was keen to highlight the solidarity shown between vignerons at the end of April, as they mobilised to put in place measures to prevent a repeat of the frosts of 2016. Burning dampened straw bales at strategic locations, they succeeded in creating cloud cover which saved the vast majority of the vineyards. He also stressed the importance of ”fractional harvesting” – waiting until each parcel is fully ripe before picking – and feels that the domaine's biodynamic practices allow the grapes to achieve even ripening and balance, a real boon in early vintages such as 2017. For those with long memories, 90-year-old Michel compares 2017 to 1947 and 1964.


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About this WINE

Lafarge Vial

Lafarge Vial

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Fleurie

Fleurie

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.

Recommended Producers: André Colonge, Michel Chignard, Bernard Métrat .

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Gamay

Gamay

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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate88-90/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate88-90/100
Tasted from barrel, the 2017 Fleurie exhibits notes of warm spices, ripe cherries and dried flowers. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, tangy and tensile, with a nicely elegant profile, but it seems to be missing the flesh and integration of a less complicated vintage.
William Kelley - 22/09/2018 Read more