Chateau Grand Pré, Fleurie “Cuvée Spaciale”
Chateau Grand Pré, Fleurie “Cuvée Spaciale”

Chateau Grand Pré, Fleurie “Cuvée Spaciale”

Beaujolais, France 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$35.00
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Chateau Grand Pré, Fleurie “Cuvée Spaciale”

Let’s jump right to the pecking order of Cru Beaujolais. Morgon is the most famous, with star producers and the added bonus of being easy to say for those less versed en Français. Moulin-à-Vent is the most historic and arguably the most cellar-worthy. Brouilly is juicy, Saint-Amour for Valentines Day…ok, I won’t list all 10 crus. But when what you want is the perfect combination of sumptuous red fruits, savory earth, and explosive aromatics redolent of violets and roses, you need to reach for Fleurie.

Some call it the Chambolle-Musigny of Beaujolais, but I think it is the other way around: Musigny is the Fleurie of the Côte de Nuits, especially when you consider a wine-producing history that dates back to the Romans. Of course, farming and winemaking matter too, and that’s why we think the “Cuvée Spaciale” from Chateau Grand Pré is one of the very best “drink me now” Fleuries on the market today. This high-energy, all-natural bottling has been a huge hit with SommSelect subscribers in the past, and is an out-of-the-park home run in the ripe and ready 2020 vintage. We secured the last few cases of this wine on the West Coast, and expect it to go fast, so don’t wait to grab some!

Romain Bertrand, the third-generation winemaker at Chateau Grand Pré, is blessed with 70-year-old vines in a prime, high-elevation parcel near the top of the famed “La Madone” hill that overlooks Fleurie (La Madone is a “cru within a cru,” if you will). The topsoil of this vineyard is very sandy, which has the benefit of reducing pest and disease pressure, making organic and biodynamic farming even more attractive. Romain’s parents stopped using chemicals of any kind more than 20 years ago, and he made sure all their holdings were Certified Organic by 2012. 

But the real magic of Fleurie lies below the sandy soils surrounding the vines, where the roots have to struggle to find water among the unique, and very rocky, pink granite that permeates the hills. This ancient geology was formed by violent, upward thrusts which are also responsible for the steep slopes that the vines grow on. Pink granite is rare outside of Fleurie, and there’s no denying that it is responsible for the distinctly captivating aromatics of its namesake wine.

The Chateau Grand Pré was purchased by Romain’s grandparents in the early 1970s, but its viticultural history goes back over 250 years. Traditions are key here, but so is innovation. After organic certification and instituting biodynamic principles, Romain felt the need to make his cellar work as natural as possible, eschewing any manipulations or additions. He rarely uses SO2, and the Cuvée Spaciale is always “zero-zero”—nothing added or taken away. But he also wants to highlight his special, old-vine terroir—not flaws—so the wine is squeaky clean and aromatically expressive. To help achieve this goal, Romain uses an odd, spherical-shaped concrete tank for fermenting Spaciale. The tank is nicknamed “Sputnik,” hence the name and the label. Beaujolais lovers might hear the words “natural” and “clean” and “terroir” and “Fleurie” all together and immediately think of the legendary Yvonne Métras, but the difference here is that this wine is available and it is well under $40!

Due, at least partially, to this wine having zero added sulfur, it is 100% pop and pour, no decant necessary! I like to serve it a bit on the cool side, 56-58 degrees, in Burgundy bowls so you can get the full spectrum of aromatics. These include a bouquet of violets, iris, roses, and citrus blossoms plus a wallop of sweet cherries and earthy, mushroomy forest floor. The richly textured body has a touch more weight than you might expect from the bright red color, but this is still very much a silky soft pleasure bomb. You can serve this Fleurie with almost anything off the grill, but it is also perfect with a traditional Lyonnaise sausage and potato salad. It would be fun to age a few bottles for 3-5 years, assuming a very cold cellar or wine fridge (it’s sans-souf), but I think you’ll have a hard time keeping your hands off them over the summer. Cheers!

Chateau Grand Pré, Fleurie “Cuvée Spaciale”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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