2014 Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Côte de Brouilly "Cuvée des Ambassades'"

SKU #1213025 92 points Vinous

 Pale red. A pure, expansive bouquet displays vibrant strawberry, blood orange and floral pastille scents and energetic minerality. Taut, spicy and sharply focused, offering juicy red fruit and floral pastille flavors plus a touch of five-spice powder. The mineral and floral qualities repeat on a long, gently tannic finish that leaves a sweet red berry note behind. (JR)  (8/2016)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes has grown vines on the flanks of the landmark Mont Brouilly since 1861. The domaine reserves 12 of its 37 acres of vines for its top cuvée, Ambassades, sold to French embassies as a flagship Côte de Brouilly. This is one of Beaujolais' smallest appellations, and these 12 acres are Chavanne's best parcels. They grow high on the slopes. There is a hint of herbal tea on the very fresh red berry, earth and softly pepper-inflected aromas. I like the lovely sense of energy to the beautifully well-detailed medium weight flavors that exhibit a hint of minerality on the mildly dusty but not really drying finish. This is pretty rather than deep and while it's more elegant than its 2015 counterpart, it doesn't have the same stuff. Drink: 2018+  (6/2016)

K&L Notes

This 100% Gamay is the domaine's most ageworthy Beaujolais, from vines grown on steep granite slopes. Aged in foudre, it's said to be a favorite at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thus the name"Cuvée des Ambassades." The familiar label design is shared with Chateau Thivin. However, after the initial fermentation, in epoxy-lined concrete tanks, this is racked into very large, very old wood barrels (some dating back the 150+ years the domaine has been in existence) to round the tannins a bit, without imparting any new oak notes. The combination of high, steep vineyards and the mixture of deomposed granite and diorite (a blue igneous rock) leads to problems of erosion, but wonderful drainage. The result is a fine and focused wine with the characteristic gunflint nose this appellation is known for, a lovely spice on the palate, and lots of concentration without weightiness. Well done! The Côte de Brouilly is one of Beaujolais's smallest crus, with only 1.3 square miles of area, known for wines of focus, energy and drive. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 01/2015) Thw 2013 vintage earned 92 points RJonWine.com: "Medium dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; appealing, bright, red currant, dried red berry nose; tasty, ripe red currant, tart red berry, dried berry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (highest and steepest vineyards in appellation of Mont Brouilly)."

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Staff Image By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/31/2015 | Send Email
From the Southernmost of the Beaujolais Crus comes Brouilly with it's deliciously elegant raspberry-cranberry notes, silky mouthfeel and tons of bright, refreshing acidity. I just love the easy drinking nature of this medium-bodied wine. It's the perfect picnic wine, and pairs perfectly with with a classic lemon roast chicken. Chill and enjoy.

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- Ah, poor, oft-maligned Gamay. Once widely planted in Burgundy, today the grape is largely confined to Beaujolais. The varietal, officially called Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc is vigorous, early-ripening and can grow in cooler climates. The grapes naturally high acidity, low tannins and low potential alcohol lends itself to exuberant, fruity wines, ranging from the early-release Beaujolais Nouveau, to the more serious Cru Beaujolais from villages like Brouilly, Moulin-à-Vent and St-Amour that are steadily gaining in popularity (and can age remarkably well). Outside of Beaujolais, Gamay is also grown in small amounts around the Loire where it is called Anjou Gamay and Gamay de Touraine. It is also grown in Burgundy's Côte Chalonnaise where it is blended with Pinot Noir, as it is in Switzerland.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Region in east central France, often considered a part of Burgundy, but really quite distinct. The principal grape grown here is Gamay Noir. Familiar to many as the source of the Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the vintage, Beaujolais is often fresh, fruity and very appealing red wine. Besides the straight Beaujolais, there is also Beaujolais Villages, and what is known as Cru Beaujolais. The 10 individual Crus, such as Moulin à Vent, Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, St. Amour and Chénas, each have their own character, and much more depth than someone who has only tried a simple Beaujolais could ever guess. These often represent value-priced, lovely, food-friendly wines.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.5