2020 Fleurie, La Roilette, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Bernard Métrat, Beaujolais
About this WINE
Metrat is a small domaine that has small parcels of vines spread across several communes in Beaujolais. It is owned and run by Bernard Métrat and his father-in-law Michel Chevalier.
This is a traditional domaine with the Gamay grapes being hand-harvested and then undergoing a short fermentation of 6-7 days. The wines are then aged in wooden casks for 6-9 months.
Fleurie is one of the ten Cru villages located at the northern end of the gently rolling and extremely photogenic hills of the Beaujolais appellation. The poetry of the nomenclature, allied to the beauty of the terrain, with dreamy views of the Alpes, have helped to built its reputation as the most aromatic and elegant of village wines.
The granitic sub-soil of the famous 'Roilette' lieu-dit, allied to a whole-bunch fermentation for its Gamay grapes, are the building blocks that have enabled M Metrat fils (Bernard) to construct one of the best wines in the appellation in its Fleurie, VV Roilette.
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 .
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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La Roilette is a renowned vineyard situated on the border of Moulin-à-Vent. The result is a wine which offers the charm and perfume of Fleurie alongside the body and structure of its neighbour. As the name suggests, this is Bernard Métrat’s old vine bottling, made mostly in tank but with a little oak ageing to add some spice and complexity. The nose is packed with kirsch and ripe raspberry fruit along with top notes of crushed rocks, rose petals and pepper. There is a huge weight of succulent fruit on the palate, wrapped around a firm core of crushed granite tannins that ensures the finish remains saline and fresh. An excellent wine for warmer days, this is best enjoyed lightly chilled with barbecued food and salads.
Drink now – 2030
Adam Bruntlett, Wine Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (April 2023)
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