Domaine Les Garçons, Brouilly
Domaine Les Garçons, Brouilly

Domaine Les Garçons, Brouilly

Beaujolais, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$45.00

Domaine Les Garçons, Brouilly

The global profile of Beaujolais has risen substantially in the past 15 to 20 years, and yet it still remains one of the most dynamic wine regions in France. The special terroir here is not only a perfect match for growing the world’s best Gamay, it is also fertile ground for enterprising young winemakers looking to make their mark. Case in point: Today’s discovery hails from a brand-spanking-new estate, established in 2020, and so we have the distinct pleasure of introducing “Les Garçons” to you, and to the U.S. in general. Of course, new also means untested, but tasting their 2021 old-vine Brouilly answered any and all questions: This is beautiful, sensuous, soaring Cru Beaujolais of the utmost quality. The “boys,” Löic and Fabien, have hit the ground sprinting and we’re quite sure they’ll catch up with the established leaders very soon. In the meantime, this is your opportunity to be a very early adopter, gaining bragging rights among any and all disciples of natural, terroir-true winemaking. Grab a stash of this gorgeously exuberant Gamay before it starts popping up on all the top wine lists—you’ll be very glad you did!

Löic Crispin grew up in and around the vines of Beaujolais, and was itching to make wine, except he didn’t have any direct inheritance lined up. So when a few parcels in the village of Charentay (which belonged to relatives) were made available to him, he jumped at the chance to finally put his stamp on this ancient wine region. But, he was also determined to follow his own philosophy, doing everything with purpose and refusing to “cut corners.” His good friend, Fabien Pinguet, joined him, and before any thought was given to the cellar or winemaking, they set about converting all of the parcels to biodynamic farming, achieving full certification in 2021, less than two years after they founded their estate. They didn’t stop there though; they are also committed to agroforestry, planting trees throughout the vineyards to increase biodiversity, and also planting cover crops that help rejuvenate the natural flora and fauna of their soils and reduce the need for plowing. 

That commitment to working naturally, meticulously, and with the utmost respect for their terroir transitions seamlessly into the cellar. For some years there have been two winemaking philosophies, or “camps,” operating in Beaujolais: Those who subscribe to the Jules Chauvet doctrine of full carbonic maceration and zero additions of sugar or sulfur (widely considered the birth of the natural wine movement), and those who take the “Burgundian” path of only partial carbonic, or fully de-stemmed, fruit that is then aged in barrel and generally treated like, well, Burgundy. But that chasm of competing styles is shrinking, and Löic and Fabien are young mavericks with zero loyalties on either side of that divide, and as such they’re taking what works best and running with it. For the Brouilly, that means doing about 75% carbonic and de-stemming the rest, and aging half the wine in barrels and the other half in steel tanks. It’s essentially a best of both (all) worlds approach, and the result is a stunningly delicious wine. In other words, it works!

Most of Beaujolais is dominated by a vein of deep, hard granite, including the rare pink granite that is ubiquitous in Fleurie, Chenas, and throughout the 10 Crus. But in the corner of Brouilly where Löic and Fabien farm their old vines, it is actually limestone and clay that dominate the geology, which adds an additional layer of Burgundian complexity to the wine. Instead of crunchy, juicy purple-red fruit, you have a softer, silkier texture, floral finesse, and a finish of saline minerality. Serve this Brouilly in a Burgundy stem at a cool 55-60 degrees and you’ll unlock a bevy of spiced cherries, wild strawberries, crushed violets, dried roses, white pepper, cloves, espresso grounds, and lots of savory minerals. And this seems like a good time to remind everyone: the best Cru Beaujolais ages extremely well! So do the pro move and grab a few bottles to enjoy with your favorite burger recipes now, and a few more to lose in your wine fridge or cellar, it’s a win-win all around.

Domaine Les Garçons, Brouilly

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