2020 Domaine les Deux Flèches, Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes
2020 Domaine les Deux Flèches, Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes

2020 Domaine les Deux Flèches, Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes

Beaujolais, France 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$39.00

2020 Domaine les Deux Flèches, Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes

Many decades before “Morgon,” “Fleurie,” and “Brouilly” became household names among young sommeliers at the best restaurants across the country, there was one undisputed champion of Cru Beaujolais: Moulin-à-Vent. Indeed, if you could time travel to Paris just before the onset of WWII, you would see that these wines used to command the same prices as top villages Burgundy like Volnay and Vosne-Romanée. Why? Because this Cru village has a little secret in its soil—which we’ll explain in detail below—which adds a richness and a structure that is singular among the region and lends extraordinarily long life to these wines. Small wonder that the French nicknamed Moulin-à-Vent “The Lord of Beaujolais Wines.” And when you farm old vines with purpose, and use old-school “Burgundian” winemaking techniques, like the talented team at “Les Deux Flèches,” you end up with a stunningly complex, built-for-the-cellar beauty that easily rivals much more expensive cousins to the north in the Côte d’Or. This is a seriously great bottle of red, for a remarkably unserious price. Stock up!

Beaujolais, by and large, is country wine, made for early consumption in bars and cafés in nearby Lyon or faraway Paris. As such, there are very few “proper” châteaux in the region, but tellingly, the few that do exist are located in and around the vines of Moulin-à-Vent. Named for the eponymous 15th century windmill that sits majestically atop the highest hill in the appellation, Moulin-à-Vent has actually only been called such since the AOC classification of 1936. For centuries prior, the wines were known by the name of the commune where they grew (much like the rest of Beaujolais, and France in general), which is “Romanèche-Thorins.” Though historic-sounding, it’s pretty clear that the name change was a good idea, and logical too, since the vineyards of this appellation actually cross the border into a neighboring commune, Chénas, which is a Cru in its own right. The other Cru that borders Moulin-à-Vent is Fleurie, now considered the “darling” of wine critics and sommeliers all over the globe, while the majestic, beautiful old “Windmill” is somewhat inexplicably overlooked. 

One explanation for the current lack of focus on Moulin-à-Vent is that the very same châteaux that have historically dominated the production here have made it hard for scrappy, talented newcomers to gain traction like they have in Fleurie and Morgon over the past few decades. That’s why we’re so excited about this brand new micro-estate, Les Deux Flèches. Nicolas and Jeremy are friends and colleagues as wine educators at the Lycée Davayé in the Mâcon, and in 2015, they were able to purchase a small vineyard in Fleurie, followed by another small parcel of old vines in Moulin-à-Vent. Their fledgling domaine was officially born. 

Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent share much in common, including tall hills with some rather steep slopes and a very thin topsoil that sits atop a hard bedrock of pure pink granite. In fact, there is really only one key difference that marks these twin terroirs: manganese. This hard, gray metal can actually poison and kill vines, but in small amounts it leads to lower yields and Gamay berries with slightly thicker skins and increased concentration. Throw in a higher concentration of iron, too, and you have the recipe for the most regal, age-worthy wines in Beaujolais. 

As wine educators and historians, Nicolas and Jeremy are very familiar with the traditions and current trends in Beaujolais. In the cellar, they take a balanced approach, but with a nod that is more in the historical, Burgundian style. They use little to no carbonic maceration, destemming most of the fruit and fermenting in concrete tanks with native yeasts. The Moulin-à-Vent is given the full, age-worthy treatment and aged in mostly neutral French oak barrels for up to a year before bottling. The result is a robust, elegant, structured wine of expansive proportions and loads of complexity. If drinking soon, which you can, decant for a good 45 to 60 minutes and serve it on the cool side in a Burgundy stem. Many layers of fruit—Morello cherries, currants, crushed raspberries, cranberries—give way to more savory notes of wilted roses, fennel, black truffle, graphite, underbrush, and saline minerals. Those savory notes will become more pronounced as the wine ages, so we highly recommend grabbing enough to enjoy over the next five to 10 years or more. When properly mature, the wine will begin to pinoter, or become very similar to fine, aged Burgundy. All that for less than $40?!?! Yup, grab as much as you can!

2020 Domaine les Deux Flèches, Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes

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