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Jean-Paul Brun, Terres Dorées Beaujolais L'Ancien 2014

Red Wine from France - Beaujolais
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From limestone and clay soils in the south of the region, this is a rich and ample gamay with a deep, resonant flavour. Made using Burgundian cellar techniques, it tastes quite pinot-like with a little bottle age.
is no longer available
Code: BJ6791

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Light to medium-bodied
  • Gamay
  • 12% Alcohol
  • Cork, natural

Beaujolais

At its best, there is little that can match Beaujolais' fragrant, sappy, fruity flavours. Beaujolais tends to be a delight to drink upon release; indeed, extolling the wines' youthful virtues has been hugely successful.

At one time more than half the crop of this region was hurriedly fermented and sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, released on the third Thursday of November and raced to market in as many inventive ways as possible. Its cheap price and fun image made it popular for a while but, inevitably, quality suffered and Nouveau fell out of fashion in the face of new world competition.

Away from Beaujolais Nouveau, another kind of Beaujolais continued to be made, often using very traditional methods of production and reflecting a complexity of terroir that still comes as something of a surprise.

Beaujolais lies between the towns of Mâcon and Lyon with most of the vineyard confusingly coming into the Département du Rhône. The vast majority of the region's 18,500 hectares ...

At its best, there is little that can match Beaujolais' fragrant, sappy, fruity flavours. Beaujolais tends to be a delight to drink upon release; indeed, extolling the wines' youthful virtues has been hugely successful.

At one time more than half the crop of this region was hurriedly fermented and sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, released on the third Thursday of November and raced to market in as many inventive ways as possible. Its cheap price and fun image made it popular for a while but, inevitably, quality suffered and Nouveau fell out of fashion in the face of new world competition.

Away from Beaujolais Nouveau, another kind of Beaujolais continued to be made, often using very traditional methods of production and reflecting a complexity of terroir that still comes as something of a surprise.

Beaujolais lies between the towns of Mâcon and Lyon with most of the vineyard confusingly coming into the Département du Rhône. The vast majority of the region's 18,500 hectares is planted with a single red grape: gamay, or to be more precise, gamay noir à jus blanc. Often densely planted to help control the vines vigour, and therefore yields, trained low and pruned hard, they are need at least a short spell of real heat to ripen properly. In terms of soil, gamay does not do well on sedimentary rock types. Much of Beaujolais is granite with outcrops of schist in part of Morgon or Andesites in the Cote de Brouilly.

A little over 200 hectares is planted with chardonnay, which is growing in popularity because it is easier to sell and can be turned into sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne. White Beaujolais is sold either as Beaujolais blanc or Beaujolais-Villages blanc, and the best comes areas with chalk in the soil.

Below is a list of the appellations, but it is worth mentioning that the most important factor in the wines' quality is the grower.

Beaujolais: Mostly from the south where the soils are often of a limestone called pierres dorées, which makes excellent building material. But there are granites as well and a great many styles of wine possible though a major part of the productions continues to be made as Nouveau.

Beaujolais-Villages: These wines come from the north and are set among the ten crus and planted on the same granitic soils. 38 parishes are allowed to produce Beaujolais-Villages. They offer a midway point between generic Beaujolais and the greater complexity of the crus.

The ten crus, from north to south, are: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. Each have their own unique variation on the local geology and topography, climatic conditions and character; from the light, fragrant Chiroubles to the richer, more concentrated Moulin-à-Vent with its ability to age and comparison in great years with top Burgundies.

Within these crus are specific vineyards, or climats, with deserved reputations for high-quality, such as Poncié in Fleurie or Côte du Py in Morgon. For a more thorough examination of these crus and their characteristic traits please see our How to Buy Beaujolais guide in the Wine World & News section of our website.

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Jean-Paul Brun

Jean-Paul Brun is undoubtedly the best-known producer in the south of Beaujolais. This is the so-called Pays des Pierres Dorées, named after the golden coloured limestone, much quarried for building material. Jean-Paul is based in Charnay, a village just north of Lyon.

Viticulture is important here although it shares the hillsides with other forms of agriculture. Most of the wines are simple and sold as Beaujolais Nouveau, but Jean-Paul is the exception, and aims for a more complex, food-friendly style.

He started in 1977 with just four hectares, and now has 30, as well as 15 hectares of vineyard plots on the granite soils of some of the Beaujolais crus – Fleurie, Moulin à Vent, Morgon and Côte de Brouilly. The vineyard is in the process of conversion to biodynamic viticulture.

Particular specialities include his chardonnay, which accounts for eight hectares of his vines, as well as L’Ancien, a gamay made from old vines.

Jean Paul’s winemaking is much more Burgundian and traditional than most of his neighbours, with wines fermenting in vats before ageing in cement or oak. He believes in minimal intervention, and chooses not to add industrial yeasts, which are often responsible for the ‘bubblegum’ style of some generic Beaujolais. Nor does he practise chaptalisation (adding sugar to the must to increase alcohol), which explains why alcohol levels are lower.

Beaujolais Vintage 2014

After a warm start to the year, summer was cooler and wetter than normal, but a lovely Indian summer with sunny days and cool nights ripened the grapes to perfection. They had thick skins, ripe fruit and a lovely freshness and overall balance. The wines are of excellent quality with a succulent and fruity character underpinned with good structure and concentration too.

The Scotsman

Star buy: Looking fora lighter style red to serve with pate or a plateful of charcuterie, Beaujolaismakes the ideal lunchtime choice with its moderate alcohol.  This is atraditional style Beaujolais...
Star buy: Looking fora lighter style red to serve with pate or a plateful of charcuterie, Beaujolaismakes the ideal lunchtime choice with its moderate alcohol.  This is atraditional style Beaujolais with a hint of bubblegum aromas, lovely crunchyred fruit flavours with a fresh vibrant acid to keep the mouth fresh.Traditionally made from Gamay grapes grown on golden limestone soils (hence thename) in the village of Chamay north of Lyon.
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- Rose Murray Brown

The Daily Telegraph

This gamay from Beaujolais master Jean-Paul Brun smells amazing – it tingles like iron on stones, then the thick smell of redcurrants and other red berries comes through. An extraordinarily...
This gamay from Beaujolais master Jean-Paul Brun smells amazing – it tingles like iron on stones, then the thick smell of redcurrants and other red berries comes through. An extraordinarily good, light-bodied wine, savoury as well as summery. Three ticks on my two-tick scale. Drink slightly chilled.
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- Victoria Moore

JancisRobinson.com

Light but true andwith a salivatory stony undertow. Very pure, classic and not a hint of bananaon the nose. Classic southern Beaujolais from an admirable producer. Goodvalue.

16.5/20 Jancis Robinson

2014 vintage reviews

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