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BKWine Pick: Domaine des Terres Dorées, Beaujolais

>> Friday, April 01, 2011

Domaine des Terres Dorées, Beaujolais

One of our favourites in Beaujolais is Domaine des Terres Dorées. The owner and wine maker is Jean-Paul Brun and he has worked hard to make his wines some of the best in the region. The domain is situated in the south of Beaujolais, in the little village of Charnay-en-Beaujolais, not so far from Lyon, in the middle of the beautiful countryside called ”Le Pays des Pierres Dorées”.

Jean-Paul has 30 hectares, all organic, and 11 of them are in Beaujolais Cru, in Brouilly, Moulin à Vent and Fleurie, some 300 kilometres from Charnay. ”Up there, in the northern part of Beaujolais”, says Jean-Paul, ”the granite soil gives more minerality to the wine compared to the lime stone soil here”.

Jean-Paul is not your traditional Beaujolais grower; he works more like someone in Burgundy would. He does not use carbonique maceration at all. He destalks and ferments in the traditional way, with crushed grapes. He never adds sugar; he prefers to have a lower alcohol level. Which is not a bad thing in Beaujolais, he says, here the fruit is the most important thing. He is looking for balance and character. One way to get character is to use only the natural yeast. “This is very important for the personality of the wine”, he says. He uses very small doses of sulphur.

He is also unusual in another way. He makes a lot of white wine. This is a very good region for chardonnay, he thinks. If you see his wines, red or white, don’t hesitate. Buy.

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