It’s no secret that we at Perman Wine love the Gamay grape, especially when spring is (hopefully) around the corner. Today’s offering comes from third-generation producer Jonathan Buisson, out of the Brouilly cru in southern Beaujolais. Though technically part of Burgundy and located just south of the famed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay mecca of the world, Beaujolais is quite different and makes its own unique wines. As mentioned above, reds here are made from the Gamay grape and are often fermented using a method known as carbonic maceration. Whole grape clusters are loaded into a sealed tank, which is then filled with carbon dioxide. This causes the the grapes to begin fermenting from the inside, eventually causing the grapes to burst and release their juices. This process results in wines that are fresh and lively, with mild tanins and lighter body. Although Beaujolais is not the only region to make wines using this method, it is probably the best known for it.
The 2019 Domaine Les Roches Bleues “Les Trois Loups” is a delicious wine and the perfect example of cru Beaujolais. There are ten crus in the region, which represent the best vineyard sites of the AOC, and Brouilly is one of the southernmost. “Les Trois Loups” is Jonathan’s favorite vineyard and named as an homage to his father and grandfather, who founded the domaine. Whole grape bunches are hand harvested and undergo semicarbonic maceration, then are transferred to cement tanks to complete fermentation with native yeast. The wine then spends one year in large, old oak foudres before being bottled without the addition of sulfur, fining, or filtration.
In the glass, aromas of fresh strawberry and raspberry combine with a subtle spice note. Flavors of dark fruits, violets, and subtle earthiness are met with bright acidity and low tannin. It’s a refreshing, gulpable red wine that is at its best after cooling down in the fridge for ten or fifteen minutes before opening, served alongside roast chicken or sausages off the grill.
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