New Beaujolais from 'Monsieur Côte du Py' Jean-Marc Burgaud
We are delighted to welcome Jean-Marc Burgaud, one of the finest domaines in Beaujolais, to our portfolio.
David Gleave MW says: "Burgaud was one of my most exciting visits of the past year. He was called ‘Monsieur Côte du Py’ by Bourgogne Aujourd’hui recently and has thought carefully about how to express the character of Gamay grown on this fabled hill. I spent far longer tasting and talking with Jean-Marc than I had planned, but could have spent much longer. We recommend that you taste the wines to find out why."
The Burgaud estate lies in the tiny village of Morgon in the heart of the Beaujolais Crus. The family is the largest owner of vines on the Côte du Py, with seven hectares of vineyard planted in the 1960s at high density with a massal selection. They have a total of 11.5 hectares in Morgon, 4.5 hectares of Beaujolais Villages (Jean-Marc is originally from Lantignié), one hectare in Régnié, and one hectare of Chardonnay for Beaujolais Villages Blanc. Jean-Marc is obsessed about the quality of the fruit, so only uses grapes from his own estate.
The wines are a masterclass in balance, which is achieved in the vineyard but conserved by the approach to winemaking, which Jean-Marc calls a "semi macération carbonique". All are whole bunch fermented and the must is fermented at 23 to 28°C, with only one pump over per day. Maceration varies from about seven days for the Beaujolais Villages to 8-10 days for the Régnié and generally 12-15 days for the Morgons. The fermenting wine is tasted every day to judge when the mature tannins have been extracted and are in balance with the acidity. Ageing takes place in concrete as "Gamay has a difficult relationship with oak."
The Beaujolais Villages is fresh and open on the nose, and fleshy and tight on the palate, with grainy tannins, and its perfumes lifted by a nice bite of acid on the finish. “Judge a domaine on its entry point wine,” says Jean-Marc. “I do as much work in the vineyard and cellar on this wine as I do on my Côte du Py.” The Régnié is slightly more intense but equally friendly on the palate, with lovely length.
The ‘Les Charmes’, from old vines grown on granite soil in the western part of the cru, eases the taster into Jean-Marc’s Morgons. It has dark fruit characters but is still very fresh, with lovely richness and tannin on a palate that finishes long and intense. The 'Côte du Py' is one of the few outcrops of decomposed blue rock in Beaujolais (Côte de Brouilly is another), giving wines of greater structure than many associate with this region. Its intensity, coupled with its freshness and balance, show why this hill is so famous, and why Burgaud is held in such high esteem. This wine is also available in magnum.
The Beaujolais Villages Blanc comes from clay soil that was previously planted with Gamay, but as it wasn't producing the sort of wines that Jean-Marc was looking for, he thought it might be suited to Chardonnay. The wine is tank fermented and malolactic fermentation is blocked to retain freshness. Unoaked and bright and lively, it is just as delicious and individual as Jean-Marc's red wines.
If you would like to know more about these wines, please get in touch with your usual contact.