Violet strewn summer fruits flood the nose, ripe, suave and very fluid on the palate, with sweet cherry, peach and raspberry fruit, a tiny hint of something a little more ‘luxe’ than the VV and an extra impression of concentration and length. This should improve over the next five years. A Brouilly of dash and flair. Hand picked, partially destemmed and aged in 225L oak barrels.
The young and affable Laurent Martray controls 19 hectares of vines, predominantly in and around the village of Odenas in Brouilly. While making the wines at Château de la Chaize since 1987, Laurent has built up a sizable following for his own estate wines which currently adorn many of the finest addresses across France. We are delighted to be bringing his wines to the UK market. Laurent’s vineyards are mainly situated on the top terroir of Combiaty in Brouilly itself, with just a single hectare planted on Mont Brouilly, from where his Côte de Brouilly ‘Les Feuilles’ Cuvée hails. The vines for this were planted in 1916 and grow on extremely rocky soils, giving rise to a wine with a strong inner core of typically high Cotes de Brouilly minerality.
His two Brouilly Cuvées differ from each other in that the Vielles Vignes cuvée is aged in traditional large oak foudres and muids, while ‘Corentin’ is aged in smaller oak barrels. The entire estate production is hand harvested, fermentations last between 8 and 10 days, and bottling is carried out without filtration. This is clearly a man who takes his production seriously, for the resulting wines display a level of sophistication and generosity that we have seldom seen in Beaujolais. There is trademark freshness, but also an amplitude that suggests these wines will age with grace. Certainly, older bottles we have seen suggest as much.
We are delighted to be importing Laurent’s wines as of the 2013 vintage. The combination of abundant red fruit married to stony minerality and moreishly refreshing acidity means that customers looking for an alternative to basic Pinot Noir should find much to enjoy here.
Brouilly is one of the Beaujolais 'Crus' which are those appelations designated as having not only their own character but also as signposts for quality. Brouilly is in fact the biggest of all the crus and produces the most textured and robust wines. All the Brouilly vineyards are situated around Mont. Brouilly, from which the appelation takes its name. The more superior Cote de Brouilly is reserved for those vineyards grown higher up the hillside.