Jean Claude Lapalu
Beaujolais Villages 'Le Rang du Merle' 2020
Now this cannot be understated… this is NOT classic Beaujolais. This is Gamay as few will have tasted it. This highly unique cuvée should pique the interest of even the most dogged wine enthusiast, however if you are a fan of Gamay, then this is certainly not to be missed! Named ‘Le Rang du Merle’, or ‘Row of the Blackbird’, due to their tendency to be seen happily grazing on the grapes from this particular parcel come harvest time. The grapes from the 90-year-old Gamay vines are left to raisin and over-mature for up to 5 weeks post-harvest, concentrating the flavours and resulting in a wine that is gloriously dense and rich. The nose is chock full of a beautiful range of pure and ripe confit like red and black fruits; raspberries, black cherries and plums and punctuated with some sweet cooking spices. The medium/ full bodied palate delivers on the promise of the nose and then some, with supple and smooth tannins, surrounded by a core of very dark and pure berry and cherry fruits, jams and spices and accompanied by stoney and flinty notes from the granite soils. It is intense and concentrated but the balance of tension and release, weight and levity is sublime. This is one of the finest examples of Beaujolais you will come across. I wouldn’t hesitate pairing this with a juicy cut of red meat, a variety of creamy and cheese plates or seriously spicy dishes, something Asian and exotic. Jean-Claude believes his wines really sing when drunk at a temperature of around 15°, so make sure to store these somewhere cool. Also don’t be put off by the ‘Beaujolais’ title, this is a serious wine and can only benefit from a little decanting and time to breath.
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