Elisa Guerin Beaujolais-Village 2021

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REGION:
Chénas, Beaujolais, France
GRAPES:
Gamay
VINEYARD:
Uncertified Organic
CELLAR:
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites
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Supremely drinkable, with a nose of carbo bubblegum and dusty crushed peppercorn spice, followed by some deep black cherry fruit and a lively lick of acidity, all underpinned with stony minerals. The body of the wine is almost weightless, showing supreme delicacy in its ultra-fine tannic structure. Gamay done just as we like it; a lip-smacking wine of immediate pleasure, with so much going on. Bravo Elisa! 

100% Gamay from a parcel two years into organic conversion, planted over blue schist, sandy granite and limestone. The vines are 50 years old. In concrete tanks the grapes undergo carbonic maceration in whole bunches and are pressed off to tank after 8 days, before being raised for 8 months to come to rest with no filtration. Racked with the turn of the moon, it is bottled in the spring.

Unlike many of the better-known dynasties of natural winemakers in Beaujolais, Elisa is not being passed the baton of established family tradition, she is forging a new path. 

The Guerins, based in Chénas, farm 4 hectares of vines across the Moulin-à-Vent and Chiroubles appellations that have been in the family since the early 1900s. Elisa, a trained agronomist, is the first generation to break out to pursue her vision of chemical-free viticulture over these sites and natural methods in the cellar. Very much at the beginning of what promises to be a fascinating journey, in 2019 Elisa began the long process of converting the land, with the long-term goal being to have the estate completely turned over to organics. With a strong focus on environmental impact, the plan extends to diversifying the landscape and encouraging biodiversity with the planting of hedgerows and fruit trees, and to experiment with new methods of fertilisation, using plant-based extracts and treatments. There will also be some white grapes popping up alongside all that Gamay, with plantings of Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne.

She has begun with a small production of Beaujolais-Villages, from 50 year-old vines in conversion, as well as another wine from a small 2-hectare parcel in Moulin-à-Vent, both of which are the first to be bottled under her own name. As the reins are, piece by piece, handed over from her father, Philippe, Elisa is also changing the way the wines are vinified; fermenting only with native yeasts, raising the wines in concrete rather than barrels and scrupulously minimising any additions, seeking to create expressions of Gamay that reflect this mixed terroir of granite, limestone and schist.

The wines themselves are a real labour of love and make for compelling representations of the region; a precise balance of elegance, concentration and purity of fruit, with an underlying mineral aspect that wear the heat of a hot vintage incredibly well. They are, above all, a real pleasure to drink and we can’t wait to share them with you for the first time the UK.