Beaujolais Part 1

Céline & Nicolas Hirsch

Céline & Nicolas Hirsch

I’ve wanted to import a good Beaujolais for years, but it was nearly impossible to find one that married high quality to affordability and availability.  Add to that some sort of environmental consciousness, and you can just forget about it.  To say we tasted a ton of samples from the area and rejected most of them would be an understatement.  None of them had the right balance of what we were looking for.

Until I heard about Céline and Nicolas Hirsch.

Chénas

I first started hearing about them a while back, but it wasn’t until I was in Europe on my annual buying trip that I managed to taste their wines.  The wines were beautifully lush yet transparent, with gorgeous fruit and crunchy minerality to balance everything out.  I tasted them with another winemaker over the course of several days and both of us were quite happily surprised and impressed.

BV2014

Born in Alsace, Céline and Nicolas quickly fell in love with wine and with each other.  They headed South to the Beaujolais region, where they also fell for the gnarly old Gamay vines of an estate in Chénas.  They now farm 4 hectares (9.88 acres) of old-vine, densely planted Gamay growing on steep granitic, sandy soils in the towns of Chénas, Juliénas, and Moulin à Vent.

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The age of the vines varies from 35 to 90 years of age, all extremely densely planted (12000 plants/hectare) on very steep slopes.  The soils here are granitic sand, sometimes up to 3 meters deep.  While they’re not certified Organic or Biodynamic, they use many of the similar methods to treat the vines, and are extremely environmentally conscious.  At harvest, everything is hand-picked to focus on quality, and the wines undergo fermentation via wild yeasts in cement tanks.  Some cuvees see oak, but the key here is transparency of terroir.  At bottling, there’s only a light filtering, and no fining, and just a drop of SO2 for stability.

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Needless to say, these are gorgeous and easy drinking yet serious wines, meant to be enjoyed on their own or with food year-round.  I am super thrilled to be able to represent them, and I know they’ll make a fine addition to our growing family of winemakers.

Oh, and why “Beaujolais Part 1”?  Well, let’s just say we have something else in the pipeline…

Cheers!

PS: More pictures can be found HERE.

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