Gamay, Domaine de la Voûte des Crozes
With six generations of family tradition preceding Nicole Chanrion, she grew up helping her father in both the vineyards and the cellar in the Côte-de-Brouilly, one of the southernmost crus of the northern Beaujolais. Ever since taking over the family domaine in 1988, she works all 6.5 hectares entirely by herself, from pruning the vineyards and driving the tractors to winemaking and bottling, all without bravado or fanfare. In 2000 she became president of the Côte-de-Brouilly appellation, a position of respect and importance among peers. The Côte-de-Brouilly appellation sits on the hillsides of Mont Brouilly, a prehistoric volcano that left blue schist stones and volcanic rock along its slopes. These stones yield structured wines with pronounced minerality and great aging potential.
Fermentation is 100% whole cluster (and does a full carbonic maceration) with natural yeasts. The whole clusters are put into 65-HL stainless steel cuves and then are filled 2/3 of the way full to leave room for the CO2 to release from the grapes to form a natural cap over the must. The grapes are removed from cuves and pressed, and the juice is put back into the cuves to finish alcoholic fermentation (15-20 days). The wine is then racked into foudres where the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, and then ages for at least nine months before an unfiltered bottling.
Chanrion’s gorgeous cuvée is from a blend of five large old foudres housed in her earthen cellar…It shows a brilliant dark garnet hue and sports an aroma of fresh strawberries with a touch of cinnamon. On the palate it is rich, spicy, perfumed, and fine, loaded with red and black berry fruit, and it doesn’t disappoint on the long elegant finish.