Domaine de Fa

Beaujolais is close to Burgundy, so it makes sense that Burgundians would make the trip south, as, say, the Lafarges did from Volnay, to find new vineyards. But it’s even closer in some ways to the Northern Rhône, even if we don’t always think of it that way.

It’s barely an hour’s drive from St. Joseph to Beaujolais. More striking than the short commute is the similarity in soils: so much of the best Crozes-Hermitage and St. Joseph is from old, granitic soils. The same soils that practically define the best Cru Beaujolais.

So it makes perfect sense that when the Graillot family (behind both benchmark producer “Alain Graillot” and upstart “Maxime Graillot”) wanted a new challenge they went looking for Gamay in the Beaujolais.

Their experience farming steep granitic soils organically made them naturals for serious Cru Beaujolais. Their traditional winemaking (plenty of whole clusters, ambient yeast) is perfectly suited to the traditional Beaujolais practice of semi-carbonic fermentation à la Lapierre. And their elegant Syrahs, balancing fresh primary fruit with the precise mineral signatures and goût de terroir are a perfect model for our very favorite kind of Beaujolais: cheerily crushable wine with hidden depths.

Maxime and his brother, Antoine, (the two sons are making the wines here) have not disappointed.