Clos de Mez Chateau Gaillard caused a lot of conversation at a Beaujolais dinner. The level of ripeness and the intensity was polarising and it was definitely to odd wine out in all the beautifully light and fresh Gamay. My mind changed a few times and landed on the fact that they don’t want you to drink this Clos de Mez cuvee young, it is a wine to cellar for the long term and then, it will show its charms.
Smelling intensely of currant, menthol, passionfruit, ribena, bark and lemon thyme. Clos de Mez is plush, mineral with gritty tannins on the palate. There is a thickness to the fruit here that was what swung me to beautiful this has the stuffing to go the distance.
I would not drink Clos de Mez Chateau Gaillard until after its 10th birthday. It is probably the first Beaujolais I’ve ever said this of. What makes Clos de Mez special is the old vines which were planted over 60 years ago. The grapes are treated more like Burgundy with cold soaks, cap-punching down and pump-overs. Barrel maturation for part of the wine is undertaken over 9 months before final blending and maturation for another 12 months.
Clos de Mez Chateau Gaillard Morgon 2018, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
Clos de Mez is just 5 hectares of vines in Fleurie and a parcel on the border of Morgon and Fleurie. Marie-Élodie Zighera-Confuron (her initials are the ‘Mez’) inherited the old vineyards from her grandmother. Marie-Elodie is also married to the owner of Confuron-Cotetidot in Burgundy. An estate is known for making wines that age for decades.
Clos de Mez makes 3 wines: Mademoiselle M Fleurie for early drinking, while Fleurie La Dot and Morgon Chateau Gaillard are made to be enjoyed many years down the track. The latter 2 cuvees have been inspired by Marie-Elodies experience of drinking a 1911 vintage Morgon.
Clos de Mez Chateau Gaillard Morgon 2018 Wine Review
“Very ripe black-fruit character that edges towards overripeness, but this well structured wine also has lively acidity and carries this expansive scale. Quite meaty on the mid-palate, in the way some syrah Rhône reds are, but supple at the long finish. Drink or hold.”
Morgon is the closest to Moulin-a-Vent in terms of weight and structure, and it can age nearly as well. It has a firm minerality, thanks chiefly to its granitic soils, and a fruit profile that shades towards orange.
Most famous for aromatic, light of body, high acid reds made from the Gamay variety. There is a Burgundian sensibility on Rhone soil types which makes for an exciting style. The quality wines are refreshingly tart with aromatic complexity and enough fruit weight to balance out the tartness. You do have the option of cellaring your quality Beaujolais, but often it is not required. The best wines are from the 10 Crus of the region with the lesser appellations being akin to an ocean in more ways than one. Whites from Chardonnay are available but hard to find.
Grown in the French regions of Beaujolais and Loire Valley. It is early budding, high cropping, aromatic and high acid. It was outlawed from Burgundy by Duke Philippe the Bold for being disloyal. But has no doubt made up for that with honourable service. The best wines from Gamay can be Burgundian in flavour and well worth seeking out. Often they are exceptionally good value too.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
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I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.