2022 Beaujolais Blanc, Sans Bois Ni Loi, Louis-Claude Desvignes, Beaujolais

2022 Beaujolais Blanc, Sans Bois Ni Loi, Louis-Claude Desvignes, Beaujolais

Product: 20228230823
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2022 Beaujolais Blanc, Sans Bois Ni Loi, Louis-Claude Desvignes, Beaujolais

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About this WINE

Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes

Domaine Louis Claude Desvignes

This fabled domaine, based in the town of Villié-Morgon, is today run by siblings Louis-Benoît and Claude-Emmanuelle Desvignes – the eighth generation of their family to make wine in Beaujolais. It is renowned for producing concentrated, age-worthy Morgon wines, which gain exceptional complexity with time in bottle.

Benoît and Emmanuelle (as they prefer to be called) have, in recent years, updated the winery and begun farming organically, but their method of vinification is the same as their forebears’: semi-carbonic maceration, with a grille to keep the cap submerged. The length of the maceration varies from cuvée to cuvée, being around 10 days for the relatively early-drinking Voûte Saint-Vincent, but longer for Javernières and Les Impénitents, of which only a tiny quantity is produced from a parcel of century-old vines.

From the 2018 vintage, the Desvignes are also producers of our Own Selection Beaujolais-Villages.

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Beaujolais

Beaujolais

The Beaujolais region occupies 22,000ha between Mâcon and Lyon, and spans 34 miles from north to south. Around 70 million litres of Beaujolais are produced each year, or two-and-a-half times the entire red and white wine production of the rest of Burgundy put together. More than half of this is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, and released on the third Thursday of November following each harvest.

Beaujolais is almost exclusively planted with the Gamay grape, and produces mostly red wines. A small amount of white Beaujolais is produced from Chardonnay (or Aligoté) while a handful of Beaujolais rosés can also be found.

It is one of life's injustices that this beautiful wine region is forever associated in most people's minds with Beaujolais Nouveau, a thin and dilute wine that has more to do with marketing than actual substance. However, there is an Aladdin's trove of gloriously satisfying wines to be found amongst the 10 named village crus that form the spiritual home of the fresh, fruity Gamay grape.

From north to south, St Amour, Juliénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié (a cru since 1988), Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly are situated along the 15-mile strip of granite hills to the north of the region. They range from light, lively, and fragrant to rich and velvety. While most Beaujolais should be drunk as soon as possible, the crus are infinitely more concentrated and have much more personality. They can be kept for up to 10 years, at which age the best examples resemble mature Pinot Noir.

At its best, simple Beaujolais is fruity and eminently drinkable, especially when lightly-chilled in summer. Most Beaujolais displays a pear-drop edge to its soft red fruit, and often notes of banana and bubble gum too. These traits come largely from the vinification method (semi-carbonic maceration) rather than the Gamay grape itself, where a swift fermentation highlights the aromatics and fruit, while minimizing the tannins. Amongst the top crus, however, there has been a return to more traditional Burgundian vinification methods, and even oak ageing.

There are five classifications of Beaujolais: Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Supérieur, Beaujolais Villages, and the 10 Beaujolais crus. As with the rest of Burgundy, the producer's name on the bottle is often the most important factor.

Recommended producers: Michel Chignard, Jean-Claude Desvignes, Olivier Merlin, Alain Michaud.

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Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is often seen as the king of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

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