2015 Domaine Chignard Juliénas "Beauvernay"

SKU #1271755 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This powerful rich wine is finely structured and concentrated. It has weight from solid tannins that contrast with the high tones of the ripe red-cherry fruits. From a single parcel, this cru wine is dense, both firm and fresh. Drink from late 2017.  (2/2017)

92 points Vinous

 Brilliant magenta. Lively, highly perfumed aromas of black raspberry, spicecake and candied flowers pick up a minerally quality as the wine opens up. Silky and energetic in the mouth, offering sappy, concentrated red and blue fruit flavors that show very good clarity and spicy lift. Red fruit and lavender notes linger on the impressively persistent finish, which is given shape by smooth tannins.  (1/2017)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Juliénas Beauvernay, bottled one month previously, offers bright blueberry and raspberry scents on the nose, although the aromatics need a few months to really knit together. The palate is sweet and ripe on the entry, the acidity nicely judged with supple cranberry and raspberry notes towards the dense finish that will need 18-24 months to really open up. This is the best Julienas Beauvernay that I have tasted from Chignard (to date). I met with winemaker Cédric Chignard at Château Thivin, once again, where he showed me the 2014 and 2015 releases of his Fleurie les Moriers and Juliénas Beauvernay. (For background information, please refer to issue 219.) "The vineyard stayed very green, which lent good acidity levels and protected the fruit,” he told me. “The 2015 had a lot of power with freshness.” These are good quality wines and I felt that the 2014s had improved since I tasted them from barrel last year. That said, Cédric has done a great job with the 2015s, especially with his strongest card, the Fleurie, whereby he manages to obtain great structure while keeping the femininity and charm one associates with that Beaujolais AC. There is still something that tells me Cédric has something in his back pocket, that he is destined to make even greater wines in the future. But these will do just fine for now.  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

From importer Kermit Lynch: " In 2007 Michel turned the management of the family domaine over to his son Cédric, who is carrying on this philosophy with great pride and has already managed to prove himself in his first few vintages... Their eight hectares of vineyards are over sixty years old, keeping yields naturally low. These old-vine root systems also run very deep, accessing minerals from the granite subsoil and giving Chignard’s Fleurie a trademark goût de terroir and great freshness. While many critics attribute Michel’s success to the soil, Kermit would argue that his traditionalist stance on vineyard management and winemaking is essential to craft such great wines. As ardent defenders of traditional Beaujolais methods, the Chignards take a minimalist approach in both the vineyards and the cellar... The Chignard's have recently started making wine from another Beaujolais cru, Juliénas, which produces a beautiful, high-toned wine in keeping with the style of the domaine." This newly released 2015 vintage has not yet been professionally reviewed, but the 2014 bottling garnered 90 points from Burghound.

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Varietal:

Gamay

- 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.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Beaujolais

- 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 (%): 13