Over the past three decades, Jean-Louis Dutraive has quietly established himself as one of the best winemakers in Beaujolais, and one of the most involved members of the French wine community. In both Fleurie and Brouilly, his wines are highly traditional, terroir-driven and unmistakably Dutraive-ian in style: muscular, plush and more than a bit fauve. These are exuberant, fruit-forward cru Beaujolais, with distinct tannin structure.A rarity for a 21st century winemaker, each of Jean-Louis's three children want to follow in his footsteps as vignerons—which will, in time, entail splitting a relatively small domaine three ways, thanks to French inheritance laws. In the meantime, it means sourcing certified organic grapes from friends and neighbors to create silky, energetic wines under the Famille Dutraive label. As the region has been ravaged by hail in recent vintages, this project is especially crucial, and these classic, semi-carbonic wines speak to the very soul of Beaujolais.Then there’s twenty-something Justin, whose first standalone vintage was in 2015. His wines are truly wild, typically released without even a touch of sulfur, and if his father’s wines are muscular, his are wiry and graceful. Transparently raspberry-red in color, with bright acidity and a savory hit of dried herb, it’s no surprise that these wines are darlings of the natural wine scene.
What importer NYC-3-POL-FDU426-092922-7 has to say about this wine...
VINEYARDA blend of two old vine parcels in the Cru of Chiroubles: 1. Poullet is located just below the village at 370 meters in altitude with a vine age of 70 years. In organic conversion 2. Javernaud is located northwest of the village at 400-430m in altitude with a vine of 60 years. Organically farmed.SOILclay, sand, graniteVITICULTUREPoullet is in organic conversion and Javernaud is organicallly farmed. Only sulfur and copper are used to combat vine diseases.VINIFICATIONTraditional "beaujolaise" vinification in concrete tank: natural yeast fermentation, semi-carbonic maceration, no sulfur in vinification. Jean-Louis' motto in the cellar is "minimal intervention and maximum surveillance." His three children have embraced this philosophy.AGING50% in stainless steel and 50% in neutral barrels and demi-muids (600L) for 6 months, no fining or filtration, 10 mg/l SO2 added at blend just before bottling.