Welcoming the latest range of Domaine de Bel Air in Beaujolais, I would like to highlight two new additions to our offering, the Brouilly "Briante" cuvee and Morgon "Grand Charmes".
The Brouilly Cru is unique in the sense that none of the communes in the appellation area bear its name. This southernmost and most far reaching of the Beaujolais Crus owes its name to Mont Brouilly, in turn named for Roman lieutenant, Brulius.
The vines for this cuvee grow at "Briante", where the vines face southwest and upon soils of silt-clay with schist and granite underneath. This plot hosts vines of 50 years in age, providing developed and experienced grapes for Jean-Marc Lafont to work with. This cuvee, like all his others, are 100% hand harvested to allow for very careful sorting both in the field and upon arrival at the chateau, focusing on only keeping the healthiest grapes that are at peak ripeness. Once sorted the grapes are pressed in the pneumatic press with partial de-stemming and temperature control. Vatting occurs over 9 days and then matures for 8 months.
The reason we are so excited to welcome this new wine into our offering can be understood upon reflection of the awards it has received. With the 2014 vintage receiving a Gold Medal at the International Gamay Competition, along with medals in 2012 and 2011.
The Grand Charmes is the centrepiece of Domaine de Bel-Air, taking that next step above the classic Les Charmes. This parcel-based cuvée hails from soils of rotten rock, composed of old sediments of iron oxide and manganese, resulting from the disintegration of pyritic schists. The vines are considered vielles vignes with their average vines sitting at 80 years old.
Further setting this top tier Beaujolais is the unique choice to perform traditional Burgundy vinification on the grapes. With all ageing occurring purely in oak barrels for 12 months. Adding that layer of complexity only found in the region of Burgundy to a Beaujolais Cru wine is something truly to behold. I implore you taste these delectable new wines by Jean-Marc Lafont.