Beaujolais Vintage Reports

Domaine du Crêt de Bine (Sarcey), Florence Subrin

Looking back, 2021 was probably even more difficult from an agricultural perspective than what we thought while doing our work. Following the late frost in April, which kept us awake for a full week trying to rescue as much fruit as possible, we faced a very wet and hot summer. Creating conditions that risk cryptogamic diseases – requiring regular treatment ( copper, suffer combined with various infusions and essential oils) and removal of grasses to avoid residual humidity under the vines . In addition to that, bindweed was growing so fast that Geoffroy and François were literally on the tractor the all spring until mid summer, while I completed the mechanical work, weeding by hand with seasonal workers. All this hardwork led to a harvest of lovely grapes the last week of September, though, despite our efforts, we lost 1/3rd of the usual harvest. We were pleased guiding the fermentations, the grapes gave us with light, fresh and fruity wines – fermentations went well, all the while we had to keep a close eye on the microbiology, as bacterial flora was rich and active. Our team for the harvest was also incredibly nice, friendly and courageous, which kept us motivated and moving after the exhausting summer. For now, wines are maturing in barrels and tanks, awaiting bottling in spring 2022.

In the vineyard, we continue with projects encouraging biodiversity. We are creating a small pond that will be surrounded by various plants and trees. We have introduced a flock of happy chickens , we are about to install our own hives. We strongly believe that these projects that contribute to the ecological balance of our vineyard , in anticipation of global warming , are key to sustaining our property durably while increasing the general quality of our wines. Grapes that deeply reflect their place = more personal wines.

Domaine Foretal (Vauxrenard), Jean Yves Perraud

2022 was a complicated year with capricious weather. The harvest took place mid-September under sunny skies. The harvest went very well with a smaller quantity than other years, but the quality is there!

For the Beaujolais-Villages we have a deep ruby color, with aromas of red fruits. For the Moulin A Vent, the color is violet, with aromas of black fruits and cherry. The palate is developing black fruit aromas (blackberries), kirsch, long on the palate, with a lovely finesse.

Domaine Romuald Petit (Saint Verand)

After a rainy winter, spring arrived in early April, and temperatures quickly climbed. The start of vegetation was rapid and homogeneous, and the frost did not cause any damage. Growth was then rapid, with very little rainfall throughout the cycle. There was a marked drought during the ripening. The first juices from this sunny vintage are very pleasant, the gamays from the Cru Beaujolais are very crisp, inviting and intense.

Domaine du Crêt de Bine (Sarcey), Florence Subrin

From an agricultural perspective, 2020 was incredibly nice with a nice spring ending with enough rain, then a nice summer. The drought camer suddenly in August and threatened the harvest, but we were “saved” by 20mm of rain mid of August. As a result, grapes were perfectly matured, having plenty of sun and extremely healthy. Wines which were harvested at that time have fantastic aromatic profiles and nice dark cherry colour. We expect this vintage to be fruity, solar while staying fresh – overall very balanced wines in terms of aromas, around 12,5 alcohol degrees and silky tanines.

Domaine Foretal (Vauxrenard), Jean Yves Perraud

The 2020 vintage was generous in quality and quantity. We started the harvest on 08/24. For Beaujolais Villages, we have wines with a beautiful purple color, a fruity and very aromatic nose, fruity on the palate (red fruits), ample and supple. For the Moulin à Vent, the wines have a beautiful, very deep purple color, a dark fruit nose and a structured, rich palate with very silky tannins. In short, the 2020 vintage is of high quality, quite similar to 2011.

Domaine du Crêt de Bine (Sarcey), Florence Subrin

2019, a crop of excellent quality but a small crop as a result of climatic hazards. The 2019 vintange for us will have been remembered by the successive late frosts in the month of April, as well as the hailstorm on the 18th of August. With the very warm start of the growing season, vegetation started early, then suffered the climatic “rewind” of a sudden drop in temperatures in April. Follwed then by a lovely spring and a hot summer, which was favorable to good ripeness of fruit. Unfortunately, the quantity was affected by a violent hail storm in August. Nevertheless, this small yielding season, makes up for itself in quality. Indeed, with such beautiful fruit, very balanced with delicate aromas, we are able to vinify wines that reflect that beauty of fruit. Entirely hand harvested over 9 days, our 2019 cuvées are showing a rare finesse with beautiful bright “cherry” color, all with no added sulfur other than a minimal dose at bottling to protect them during transport. Beautiful “Natural” cuvées, equally “Beaujolais”, so in that perspective will be released in the Spring 2020.

Domaine Romuald Petit (Saint Verand)

As for the 2019 vintage, it held, eventually, good surprises for us.

The vineyards at lower altitudes had heavy frosts at the start of Spring (4th of April), which resulted in large bud loss, notably in Morgon, with 70% of the crop lost in certain sectors.

The rest of the season was more favorable, being relatively dry, but not excessively, then rain arrived at the right moment (for us in our locale, but not for everybody).

In the end, the grapes are once again very ripe, but have higher acidities than the last few years.

The wines right now seem very gourmands, full of fruit and sun, but not at all heavy, likely to evolve into wines that are quite crisp and easy.

Domaine Foretal (Vauxrenard), Jean Yves Perraud

2019 was a hot year, with a single episode of frost April 4th in the Moulin a Vent vineyard. The health of grapes at harvest was very good, with a normal quantity and lovely quality.

The wines are have great finesse and are very well balanced.

Beaujolais Villages: red ruby color, amylic aromas (specific to semi-carbonic fermentation) , quite fruity on the palate. Good length, fruity and rich.

Juliénas: deep red color, notes of black fruits and pepper on the nose. Lovely balance, a rich and well structured palate.

Moulin à Vent: deep red color, black fruits on the nose and palate. Powerful, well structured et rich on palate.

Domaine du Crêt de Bine (Sarcey), Florence Subrin

Our impressions of the 2018 vintage were variable over its course, as well as what we perceived to be its distinctive aspects. It was very difficult, yet very successful. Overall, the weather in France, and in particular in our region, was brutal, with a hot and wet Spring, followed by a very dry summer/early autumn. We were vigilant and meticulous with Biodynamic preparations and treatments, and succeeded in avoiding the classic cryptogamic ailments (insect blights) of Spring. As a result we achieved dense fruit set. We willingly green harvested over 3 hectares in order to control yields, to ensure full ripeness and quality, and also to ensure the continuing health and vigor of our vines. This was of primary importance, as the extreme drought of summer was very hard on the vines.

We began harvesting on the 3rd of September, beautiful fruit, no trace of botritys, and vinified as we usually do, following Demeter requirements. To note: cold fermentation, indigenous yeasts, no additives or intervention, minimal use of SO2. 2018 is a beautiful vintage, ripe and fresh, with a lovely aromatic tension.

Domaine Foretal (Vauxrenard), Jean-Yves Perraud

For the 2018 vintage, we had exceptional quality due to extremely favorable climate conditions.

Harvests started at the end of August for Moulin a Vent and Julienas and at the very beginning of September for the Beaujolais Villages

Moulin a Vent : deep violet color, nose of black fruits, cherries, kirch with fine tannins and long on the palate.

Julienas : deeply colored, nose of ripe red fruits, black fruits on the palate with very lovely length and finesse

Beaujolais Village : ruby color, deep aromas of red fruits, red fruits on the palate (black cherries) very fresh in mouth with good length.

Domaine du Crêt de Bine (Sarcey) Florence Subrin

2016: a difficult “departure”…..but a beautiful “arrival”

The vines suffered during the cold and rainy spring, the vegetative cycle fell behind and cryptogamic diseases (in particular mildew) were formidable. We redoubled our work, reinforced our plant based sprays with essential oil of rosemary. In the end, we managed to contain the disease, despite doses of copper which we were required to administer in order to conform to the strict regulations of Demeter. Our luck is to have been spared the frost which ravaged several neighboring areas.

The beautiful warm weather that came with the very first days of summer released a spectacular vegetal growth. The heat and dryness cleansed the vegetation. With a remarkable September, the summer ended beautifully, creating conditions for an unexpected ripeness. We began havesting the 24th September. Thanks to the “Indian summer” the grapes achieved full maturity, aided by sufficient, but not excessive yields (around 45 hl per hecatare).

Domaine de Foretal (Vauxrenard), Jean-Yves Perraud

At our Domaine, the vintage 2016 went very well. Good yields, very clean fruit.

Harvest from September 17th through September 30th.

For the white, very aromatic wine (citrus, white flowers), lovely length, very well balanced.

For the reds, lovely ruby purple color for the Beaujolais-Villages, violet for Julienas and Moulin a Vent.

Aromas of small red fruits with suppleness on the palate for the Beaujolais-Villages.

Aromas of black fruits, kirsch, lovely length with very fine tannins for Julienas and Moulin a Vent.

The 2016 is a promising vintage, fruity wines with very good aging potential.

Domaine du Crêt de Bine, François and Marie-Therèse Subrin (Sarcey)

2015 : An exceptional vintage

Rarely is there a spring, summer and then autumn as hot and dry as this year. The extended heat wave in summer, temperatures around 40° in the shade for several weeks, made for extreme conditions for our Gamay in granite soils. The several rainstorms at the beginning of August brought 50 mm of water (without hail) and saved the crop. The heat returned at the end of August and we began harvest very early starting the 4th of September. With our grapes, very healthy and “swelled” by sun, we will have cuvées, though certainly of limited quantity, but of a balance that is rarely equaled. 2015 will stay in our memories as winemakers an exceptional vintage de garde.

Domaine Foretal (Vaurenard) Jean-Yves Perraud

At our domaine,, the 2015 vintage is exceptional.

Harvest took place beginning August 29th through September 7th ; so a very precocious year.

For the white, the wine is very rich, with aromas of citrus, with the color of a stong white and lots of richness on the palate.

For the red, the Beaujolais-Village has a deep violet color with aromas of red fruits, ripe on the palate. In this vintage, the palate is very fruity and well balanced with very fine tannins, with round texture.

For the Julienas and Moulin A Vent, the color is a very deep red, with pronounced aromas of black fruits. In the mouth is chrunchy fruits of blackberry and black cherry (Moulin A Vent), the wines are very well balanced with fine silky tannins, a lovely length, promising “vin de tres belle garde”.

What to remember about this vintage, is that we have wines of excellent balance and superb color, wines that are rich and powerful, but are also wines of finesse.

Domaine Romuald Petit (Saint Verand)

The 2015 vintage was marked by heat, and intense dryness.

Harvest began August 28th, two weeks early, maturity was excellent, and the sanitary state of the grapes was exceptional.

For the reds, the 2015 vintage will be probably be among the best vintages that we have had here in recent decades.

The Morgon and Chiroubles 2015 have intense color, aromas of black fruits and spices, an imposing structure, and silken tannins.

Domaine Nicolas Chemarin (Marchampt)

The spring of 2014 was quite advanced, dry and hot, the vines took off very quickly!

The following june, july and august were cooler and less sunny, nice weather returning at the end of august, with much heat from the North wind and not another drop of rain until the harvest, which for me began on September 20th, lasting until October 1st.

The harvest was good both in quality and quantity, 2014 is a very good vintage in Beaujolais, resembling 2011 and 2009.

The wines have a beautiful black cherry color, with a lot of fruit and concentration!

For me the issue is to not extract too much in order to keep the freshness and finesse (which I search to achieve every year in my wines).

Our news, I harvested an new parcel in Morgon this year “Courcelette” the wines there are more structured, with a nose and mouth much more on black fruits than Morgon “Les Charmes”, inconveniently, the parcel is small and the quatities are very limited!!! (of course!!)

As for the rest, I’m sending you now the 2013 and I think that for the next part of the year, the 2013 is a vintage with lots of minerality and very fresh red fruit, personally, l like it a lot!

Domaine Foretal (Vauxrenard) Jean-Yves Perraud

2014 is a precocious vintage, starting from the beginning of harvest on the 11th of September.We have a vintage which is much like 2011, with deep colored wines, strongly perfumed with red and black fruits.

The wines are stuctured, with a long finsh, in all, it is a very promising vintage.