Château des Bachelards Saint-Amour 2018
Deep garnet with bright reflections, the nose is intense with black soil, pepper, Iris flowers, licorice, and berry fruits. On the palate the wine is firm like the wines of Moulin-à-Vent. The wine shows great freshness, minerality, and an expressive finish with delicate tannins.
The history of Château des Bachelards is important to understanding the revolutionary wines being made by Alexandra today. In the year 1100 AD, the Cluny monks established an abbey here and planted vineyards calling it Les Bachelards (The Place of God). The Platet family, during the French revolution, acquired and operated the property from 1793-2007! Some of the vineyards existing today are still the first vines planted in the area after phylloxera, planted in 1910. In 2007 the vineyards changed ownership and were certified organic and then certified biodynamic in 2015. Countess Alexandra de Vazeilles took over the property and made her first vintage in 2014.
In order to understand these phenomenal wines of Beaujolais we will have to change our perception of the region as a whole. The northern areas here in Fleurie and Saint Amour thrive on granitic soils. The Château des Bachelards vineyards lie at the beginning of the hill similarly to where the Grand Cru vineyards are situated in Burgundy on the hills, allowing for a harmonious combination of pink granite, rock, and clay. The geological complexity is comparable to the great vineyards of Alsace and the Northern Rhône like Hermitage and Condrieu. For many decades, the wines of Beaujolais were approached in a simple way with the intent of making fun, fruity wines. These wines do not present like your typical Beaujolais Gamay. In fact, you won’t find the name Beaujolais on the bottle, only the name of the Cru village. In the spirit of the origin of Burgundy and the Cluny monks who established Bachelards, they are vinified in a traditional manner with no carbonic maceration and the wine is bottled in a Bordeaux style bottle, believing the shape of these bottles are better for longer aging in the cellar.
Old-vines mean very low yields with increased concentration and these Bachelard wines express the greatest potential from some of the best vineyards and take Gamay to an elevated level!