The line between the top edge Beaujolais and the bottom edge of the Macon is precisely drawn, at least for labeling purposes. Beaujolais is at its best when Gamay is planted, and likewise the Macon at its best with Chardonnay. But in their histories both grapes have existed to some extent in both regions, and you can still find pockets of vineyards sporting Gamay from the Macon (which we have featured in past Select Six's and Insider's Picks) and Chardonnay in Beaujolais. Jean-Paul Brun is a traditionalist, largely considered one of the very best producers NOT making wines from the more famous Cru vineyards, instead focusing on his family estate in the South closer to Lyon. With 80+ year old vines at his disposal the family has shown an impressive dedication to Chardonnay, resisting the pressure of social convention to tear them out and replant to Gamay like everyone else. The proof is, as always, in the glass, where the wine stands toe to toe with similarly price Bourgogne Chardonnay.
Pale gold in the glass, the first aromas are all fresh citrus and stone fruits, followed by some cool mint and fresh herbs.As a traditional producer their use of native yeasts and minimal sulfur at bottling allows for very distinctive aromas and flavors to show through, as well as no oak barrels. On the palate the texture is round and moderately full, benefiting greatly from the older vines and extended time aging on the lees, pulling out every last possible ounce of flesh. Fans of crystal clean styles of white wines- Burgundy especially but also even Loire wine fans- will thoroughly enjoy this for its refreshing palate and transparency.
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The Best of the Best.
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