Domaine des Terres Dorées ‘Le Ronsay’ - Beaujolais
Beaujolais AOC, Beaujolais, France
This is Beaujolais, but not as you know it.
Jean-Paul Brun's village Beaujolais is not the mass-produced bubblegum commericial yeast using Beaujolais. Jean-Paul uses only natural yeast and opts not to use carbonic maceration. It is a light style red designed to emphasise the youthful primary fruit. The result is incredible raspberry and strawberry fruits on the nose that follow through with heaps more ripe red fruit flavours and a long fresh finish.
Jean-Paul Brun uses the Burgundian method of open vat fermentation and skin maceration for one moon cycle.
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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.”
"Unlike most Beaujolais you are likely to have tasted...just pure fruit without anything to interfere with it. Hard to think of anything better suited to early summer drinking."
"Delicious fresh, light. Strawberry fruits with a nice kick of acidity; serve chilled for outdoor summer drinking or with salady lunches, particularly anything featuring pork or charcuterie."
"The best wine for current drinking is this Dom des Terres Dorées, Cuvée Première Beaujolais which is amazingly ripe-smelling and yet has great freshness and honesty. The distinguishing feature really though is that it spreads itself horizontally right across the palate rather than tasting like a thin streak from lip to throat. It also tasted very good, and quite complex, at room temperature whereas many Beaujolais need to be cooled to be charming. Wonderful persistence too. I think this wine is also probably the best value of Jean-Paul Brun’s offerings."
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.