Less on the pretty side, more on the mineral side, tightly packed with crisp cool wild berry and stone flavours. You can sense the soils that produce this. As it unfurls the potential becomes obvious, this is a very fine, reserved and sophisticated Cote de Brouilly. Decant it, or give it a year or so in bottle to enjoy at its peak. Hand picked, partially destemmed and aged in foudres.
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.
A separate appellation to Brouilly that comprises a mere 300ha of land higher up the hillside from Brouilly itself. The wines from the Cotes de Brouilly, owing to their hillside location, tend to be more powerful than those produced in Brouilly's lower vineyards.