Domaine des Terres Dorées ‘Chardonnay Classic’
Beaujolais AOC, Beaujolais, France
This is a lively and fresh Chardonnay from the "Golden Stones" in the south of Beaujolais. It is dry with lovely intense ripe fruit and citrus flavours — pure, juicy and succulent with a very long and excellent finish.
The soil here is similar in Burgundy (yet unlike the granite soils of the Crus to the north). The vines were planted in 1983. There is no oak in the ferment, just concrete to reflect the terroir.
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Jean Paul-Brun’s vineyard is located in a stunning area known as the “Region of Golden Stones” in southern Beajolais. He started Domaine Terres Dorées in 1979 with only four hectares of vines. Back then, the grapes vied for space with the cows, sheep, pigs and cereal crops of his father’s farm.
When his father retired, Jean-Paul started winemaking in earnest. Today, his wines garner quite a lot of press for the unorthodox way in which they are made and for their sheer quality. Jean-Paul has managed to produce outstanding wine that is not typical of the Beaujolais appellation.
Jean-Paul practices organic winemaking and has no time for winemakers who jump on “cool” bandwagons without actually putting the work in on the vineyard. To him there are two types of wine; industrial and artisanal. Artisanal wines are those “where you can taste and feel the vigneron’s sensibilities.”
He gets particularly annoyed by those who claim to be natural winemakers or sulphur free but that in reality end up using chemicals when they realise their wine is not good to begin with. He feels this discredits the natural winemaking movement. For him, natural winemaking is about being an honest winemaker.
Jean-Paul Brun’s methods are a lot more labour intensive than conventional methods. He is one of only 5% of French winemakers who use natural indigenous yeasts. This means he has to check his vats every morning to ensure fermentation is proceeding as he would like.
His reason for working like this? “I work this way because of a personal choice, out of respect to the planet and the people that drink our wines. The quality in my grapes was already there but now we work in a way that respects nature and we know it’s important for the future so it just feels like the right thing to do.”
"Subtle and wonderful blend of citrus and green fruits with a touch of honey."
"Beaujolais winemakers cultivating high quality Chardonnay signals terror in southern Burgundy. Although Beaujolais is legally a part of Burgundy, the difference can be significant. The well drained south-east facing slopes of the Cote D'Or are perfect for the highest quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, whereas Beaujolais has a hilly landscape with slopes in every direction and a commitment to the Gamay grape. This ruthlessly selected, hand-harvested Chardonnay from southern Beaujolais has succulence like St Aubin, with apricot and white peach notes, a creamy, nutty mid-palate and a decently crisp finish. There is a touch of heat, a roughness that is clearly not Macon or St Aubin, but at this price, chilled and with an open mind, it is a smart and compelling wine."
"Smells of lime, oregano, diverse flowers, white peach, and an apparent amalgam of chalk dust and sea breeze. With a formidable sense of underlying density and mysterious minerality, allied to luscious, vivacious peach and lime fruit, it displays a fine sense of richness - while remaining, at 12% alcohol, quite light - and finishes with irresistible juiciness and savor, reminiscent of Chenin Blanc or Riesling in its shimmering interchange of fruit and mineral. One can relish it anytime over the next several years, although it would be a shame to miss out on its youthful state"
"From a passionate traditionalist, an organic white Beaujolais whose pure flavours and vibrant freshness wrapped in a creamy body put it ahead of many white Burgundies"
Domaine des Terres Dorees
Located in Charnay, a village in the Southern Beaujolais just north of Lyons, in a beautiful area known as the "Region of Golden Stones". He started Domaine Terres Dorées in 1979 with only four hectares of vines. Back then, the grapes vied for space with the cows, sheep, pigs and cereal crops of his fathers farm. When his father retired, Jean-Paul started winemaking in earnest. Today, his wines garner quite a lot of press for the unorthodox way in which they are made and for their sheer quality. Jean-Paul has managed to produce outstanding wine that is not typical of the Beaujolais appellation.