Domaine Des Marrans Beaujolais Villages 2017 comes from a 1 ha plot on a steep granite and blue granite site. The vines face East and are over 45 years old. It is surprisingly fresh, red fruits, mineral, soft tannins, long and savoury.
Domaine des Marrans is from Beaujolais’ Northernmost appellation of Fleurie. Mathieu Mélinand joined the family Domaine in 2008. He exploits organically grown, old, gobelet-trained vines on crystalline granite sites. Harvest is by hand. Vinification is with semi-carbonic maceration using whole bunches and indigenous yeasts. The wines are then aged in large older barrels for 10 months. Their wines are pure Gamay with a spicy, racy, savoury edge. They speak of the sites they grow.
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 interesting 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 less appellations being akin to an ocean in more ways than one. Whites from Chardonnay are available but hard to find.
Quality-wise, it sits between Beaujolais AOC and the Cru level wines. It covers 39 villages in the northern part of the region. Approximately one-quarter of production. The terrain of this region is hillier with more schist and granite soil composition than Beaujolais AOC. The wine has the potential to be of higher quality too. Several of the communes in the Beaujolais-Villages AOC also qualify to produce their wines under the Mâconnais and Saint-Véran AOCs.
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.