Hey, Fionn again this Thursday.
How are we all doing now that summer is slowly on the way out?
The main things I’m pumped for are the latest releases from Romuald Valot. Originally from Burgundy, in a rare turn of events Romuald decided to ditch this famed region for the neighbouring Beaujolais. Not often do you see people leave Burgundy but he was sick of the chemicals and crafty tricks in the cellar and wanted to create his own honest wines. So he uprooted and now works from his cottage way high up in the western hills above Beaujeu.
First up, the Beaujolais Villages punches well above its weight. These vines are doing their thing at some of the highest altitudes in the region and this means there is a real freshness despite an incredibly hot vintage. An honest, rustic and pure example of the Beaujolais and this would make an excellent starting point for those new to the region. Would also be incredible on the table with some of the hearty cuisine from nearby Lyon.
Ni Cru Ni Cuit is a step-up and made from older vines from the more prestigious areas of Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. Glistening ruby in appearance, after the initial reduction blows off, we get a truly elegant number with all the hallmark brambly fruits one expects from these Crus. The fruit is kept in check by a stony minerality which seems to underpin all of the Valot wines. Class act.
Next up, we’re back in Burgundy as Romuald couldn’t fully abandon his roots. Who can blame him? Good Pinot is hard to beat. Cuvee 21550 comes from an exceptional plot that Valot hunted out back on his home turf. A one-hectare parcel of vines up to eighty years old planted over clay and limestone in the Côte de Beaune’s, Ladoix. Featherweight on the palate, light in appearance but full-on flavour. Wild strawberries, roses and that rocky quality creeps up again. One of the purest expressions of red Burgundy I’ve tried and could well be my favourite too. Absolute steal this.
Finally, were back in the Beaujolais. However, now with something a little atypical, Anonyme . Beaujolais Blanc is fairly niche in and of itself and this is a first for me as I’ve not seen one with extended time on skins, yet here we have it. Old-vine Chardonnay planted 500 meters above sea level is given a two-week soak on those skins before being sent off for a year-long snooze. This is hazy and heady. Apricots and quince on the nose whilst the palate reveals an array of spice and pithy tannin to help temper out the riot of fruit on display. Highly unique, highly drinkable!
As with all good things, these won’t be around for very long so I’d get a move on if was you...
That’s enough wine chat from me. Take it easy!