Like Mount Brouilly itself, Pierre Cotton has risen from the fields of Beaujolais with volcanic force. At first it was just a tremor; two labels that became the seeds of a cult following. That was in 2014. Today, now also the head of his family’s label, Cotton has gone full throttle with his own brand and is producing a line-up of sensational wines that all lovers of Beaujolais will greedily hoard.
What makes Cotton’s wines so memorable and desired is how well they reflect those winemakers that inspired him in showcasing the terroir of Brouilly. After making the shift from working as a mechanic to working with his father on the family’s estate, Cotton found he was deeply moved by the wines of Yvon Metras. After becoming friendly with Yvon’s son Jules, Cotton was introduced to other natural winemakers such as Yann Bertrand and Kéké Descombes. He exalted in their wine’s complexity and beauty and felt the honesty in their noninterventionist approach to winemaking.
Since the early days of the rejuvenation of Beaujolais, it was Château Thivin that was the qualitative trailblazer in Brouilly. Now, during this new wave of neoclassical Beaujolais winemakers, many are making Brouilly wines, but Cotton is the only one actually from the region. And that familiarity with the subtle differences that makes Brouilly so special is what makes his wines stand out. The distinct ways that, for example, granite and the flinty corne vert stone effect the grapes are inherent to him.
In the cellar Cotton employs partial carbonic maceration by fermenting whole cluster in concrete vats. The only oak he uses is large and neutral. However these are not fleeting glou glou wines. You can taste the volcanic minerality in every sip while stem inclusion lends structure and an herbal depth.