Domaine du Château de Grand Pré | Beaujolais
A friend of mine recently mentioned that Romain Zordan, young gun and innovator of Château de Grand Pré, reminded her of a certain MKR judge. I'd say she's not too far off with this analogy as this gentleman is also a great admirer of the finer things in life; i.e. deliciously fresh Beaujolais!
Romain took over the winemaking at his parent’s Domaine in Fleurie in 2012, and shares the facility with his also 'not-so-unknown' cousin Yann Bertrand.
Romain Zordan during our tasting in October 2017
L-R: Joe Caruso (Fesq), Alex (Grand Pré), Ash (Fesq) & Romain (Grand Pré) in 2019
The 8 ha estate vineyards are certified organic since 2009, with an average vine age of 60+ years. Besides the more generic Beaujolais AOC, Domaine Château de Grand Pré also produces Fleurie, Morgon and Brouilly Grand Crus. Romain is a big advocate of Jules Chauvet and you can absolutely taste this tendency in his wines. The grapes are handpicked before the whole bunches undergo semi-carbonic maceration for 15-20 days at very low temperatures. Throughout the process the natural ferment is left alone, no remonatge or pigeage take place. Once fermentation is complete, the wines are transferred to 8 year old barrels and age for about 5-9 months, depending on cuvée and vintage. Unfiltered and unfined, the finished wines are bottled based on biodynamic principals. Sulfur is as minimal as 1 gr/Hl.
Beaujolais lies to the south of Burgundy, overlapping Mâcon in the north and bordering the Rhône in the south. In opposition to its famous brother Burgundy, Beaujolais is nearly entirely planted with Gamay, and a little Chardonnay. The region is approx. 55km long and 14km wide, with around 18,000 ha under vine. The proximity to the Mediterranean sea and the tempering influences of the Massif Central in the west are creating a semi-continental climate. Terroirs vary significantly from north to south and so do the wines: The north (more hilly) produces more structured and complex wines (Crus) on schist & granite dominant soils, where lighter and fruitier styles (Nouveau & Village) are more common in the south, in the 'Bas' (= plains), where soils are richer and more fertile. Beaujolais shows one of the highest density plantings worldwide of around 9,000 - 13,000 vines/ha, with usually Gobelet or Cordon training being used. Due to the 'carbonic maceration' style famous to the region, grapes are mostly harvested by hand to not break the berries and allow this special fermentation technique in a carbon dioxide-rich environment to take place. The result is a reduction in the wine’s tannin and an enhancement of particular fruity aromas and flavours in the wine. Another common style is 'Beaujolais Nouveau': it is the lightest, fruitiest style of Beaujolais and meant for simple quaffing. Any Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Villages AOC vineyard can produce Beaujolais Nouveau. The grapes are harvested between late August and early September. It is fermented for just a few days and released to the public on the third Thursday of November - "Beaujolais Nouveau Day". It is the first French wine to be released for each vintage year. In contrast to the Nouveau style, only specific regions are allowed to label their wines as highest quality Beaujolais Grand Crus: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. They are as beautifully different as equally delicious, each Cru with its very own character to be discovered. From Fleurie, the "Pretty Princess", over Morgon, the "Bold One", to Brouilly, the "Crowd-pleaser".
2018 Beaujolais-Villages (arriving Spring 2019)
2016 Beaujolais-Villages (sold out)
- Grapes come from a 1.1 ha vineyard, 80 year old vines
- A smooth and harmonious wine with red fruit aromas and flavours where blackcurrant and strawberry prevail
- Enjoy this wine with impromptu meals and barbecues. Great with starters, white meat and medium cheeses.
- May be cellared for 2 to 5 years.
- Serve cool but not chilled at 12 to 13°C.
- Vines are 70 years old
- Undergo 22 days of maceration, before spending 7 months in oak (228L & 500L)
- Red juicy fruit, linear with underlying sweetness and good structure
- Grapes come from a 1.25 ha vineyard, 40 year old vines
- Rich, powerful and balanced.
- The colour is beautifully deep ruby red, aromas of ripe fruit (including blackcurrant and blackberry) reveal and combine with powerful tannins.
- The cellaring potential is 10+ years, this wine deserves a little ageing to reach its peak
- A great partner to meat in sauce, leg of lamb and mature cheeses
- Serve at 14°C
- In its crimson red robe, this elegant velvety nectar is seduction itself, with its floral and fruity aromas and flavours that include iris, violet and red fruit
- It improves with age and will take on spicy notes
- Well-suited to serving with poultry, roast meat, delicatessen meats and fresh cheese
- May be cellared for up to 10 years
- Serve at 14°C
2017 Fleurie Cuvée Spaciale
- A dense robe and ruby tints with rich aromas of wild cherries. A wine with a smooth, full and fruity mouthfeel and mellow tannins
- Low temperature vinification with wild yeast in a spherical vat placed in a cold room throughout maceration, no sulphites added
Matured for 7 months in hogshead barrels (600 liters).
2017 Bourgogne Blanc Mermaid
- 40+ year old Chardonnay vines, marl and limestone soil
- manual harvest with successive sorting in the vineyard and the cellar. Temperature controlled vinification with indigenous yeast takes place with no added sulphites
- barrels are not topped up in the last month of elevage. The resulting ullage allows the wine to slightly oxidise in a controlled environment, similar to the wines of the Jura
- the resulting wine has a darker, golden colour, is dry and displays mouthwatering aromas of nuts, herbs and citrus.