Tag Archives: Jean-Paul Brun

Natural wine fair back home

Sunday May 20 is a great day for wine lovers who are in London. Two wine fairs focused on “natural wine” at the same time; RAW and The Real Wine fair. Unfortunately, I am not among the lucky ones.

So, what to do? No reason to be depressed for that. Make something positive about having to stay at home. I have an idea. Why not organise a little wine fair on my own? Select some of my favourite organic or biodynamic producers. Perhaps season with some new acquaintances.

Of course, Alsace must be represented. Domaine Marcel Deiss will be my Alsatian choice. From Burgundy Domaine de la Vougeraie.  And from Beaujolais my new darling Jean-Paul Brun.

The charming Johan Reyneke from Stellenbosch in South Africa would be the first pick from the New World. The Reyneke biodynamic wines are so beautiful. And the ones from New Zealand’s Millton Vineyards & Winery as well. They will be the next entry.
From Georgia I will invite Pheasant’s Tears for their wonderful qvevri-wines.

I have not yet met the wines from Foradori in Italy, so that will be the first of the new acquaintances. Elisabetta Foradori, who uses clay amphoras in her winemaking. The Eyrie Vineyards from Oregon, USA, will be the second. Would be interesting to taste their Pinot Noir together with the ones from Domaine de la Vougeraie.

That was the wines. But a good fair also needs some seminars. We are many who always want to learn something new.

I like Alice Feiring and Jamie Goode. They will however both be in London to speak. Of course, there is a solution to this little problem too. Their books are here. I can choose some good parts to be read aloud. That will be a good enough seminar substitute.

The first one: Grape ripeness and alcohol. A very interesting topic, which Goode and Sam Harrop knowledgeable discuss in “Authentic Wine; toward natural and sustainable winemaking”. Too ripe grapes imply a loss of authenticity and grape characteristic and terroir are lost.

The second one I choose from Feirings “The Battle for wine and love”. As I am big fan of the Syrah from northern Rhône, a piece from that chapter will be an entertaining finish on the seminar part.

Now I am looking forward to Sunday. Just have to call my wine loving friends to join me.

Seduced by Brun’s Beaujolais

Up till quite recently, Beaujolais was not on my shortlist for great wine experiences. Then Monsieur Brun passed by and I fell head over heels.

The first sniff was wild strawberries, next a little white pepper and some sweets. And then, when the fragrant flowery summer meadows opened in front of me, the Fleurie was really up to its name. Fruity, intense, nice tannins and structure. And it lasted for an eternity. So elegant, so lovely.  Jean-Paul Brun, owner of Domaine des Terres Dorées, is the man behind this wonderful Fleurie 2010. If I had not known it was a Beaujolais, I would have guessed Pinot Noir from somewhere in the more northern part of Burgundy. Not Gamay.

I belong to those who have associated Beaujolais with banana. Was taught so many years ago; “Easy to identify a Beaujolais. The bananas, you can never miss it.” And consequently I have not been very fond of the wine. Even avoided it. The last few years, I have however noted that the bananas have not been as obvious as before. And now, in this wine, they had totally disappeared. Monsieur Brun had repented me. I add a new favourite to my wine list.

But what about those bananas? How can a wine have an odour like that? Maceration carbonique used to be an answer. Now there seems to be another explanation.

Recently I enjoyed reading Alice Feiring’s personal and very entertaining book*. There I became enlightened. The smell was the result of 71B! This cryptic code is the name of a yeast strain that came into use in Beaujolais during the 1980s. So instead of using the indigenous yeast, the aromatic 71B was added and the banana flavour created. 

Domaine des Terres Dorées use nothing but the indigenous yest. The vinification of the reds are in Burgundy-style with destemming and four to six weeks fermentation with punch down. The Fleurie gets eight months maturation in concrete vats. Then it is bottled, after just a lightly filtration, with a minimum of sulphur.

The Domaine is located in the small village of Charnay in the south of Beaujolais. In addition to its Charnay vineyards, 15 ha are found scattered in Côte de Brouilly, Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin à Vent. Thus there is more from Monsieur Brun to explore.

*) Alice Feiring,” The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization” (2009)