Beaujolais star Janin makes great use out of his old, low-cropped, bush grown vines. About one third of his vines are over eighty years old. Fruit comes exclusively from Janin’s own vineyards which are hand harvested and grown without the use of any herbicides or pesticides. The traditional use of large format old oak brings the added dimension of liveliness and plushness to the wines – without sacrificing any freshness.
Dark berry mingled with almond extract, cinnamon and basil dominate the nose and fleshy but delightfully juicy palate. This wine is from a clay-rich portion of his holdings of 2ha of very old vines (80 to 100 years) rooted in the climat of Le Tremblay (which has recently been renamed Les Burdelines).
Beaujolais – Most famous for aromatic, light of body, high acid reds that are 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. They can age but often it is not required. The best wines are found in 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.
Moulin-a-Vent – This is considered the sturdiest, most tannic, longest-lived of the Crus Beaujolais. When you hear about folks opening up delicious bottles of 50-year old Beaujolais, it’s usually Moulin-a-Vent. But remember, we are still talking about Gamay. The wine is never that tannic, and most examples are still very approachable when they’re young, unless the vintage is a particularly structured one.
Gamay – 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.