This used to be suitcase-wine only. As in, you had to go to Paris, buy the wine in a shop there (after a bit of a hunt, mind you), and then fly it home in your suitcase (which you would have to check in order to meet TSA requirements). There just wasn't any around here.
Now, if you don’t know Métras you're probably wondering why anyone would have bothered. We have Lapierre and Foillard here in the United States and they are both perfectly fine, after all.
But they both work in Morgon. If what you want is wines made in the Foillard style but from old vines in the magnificent commune of Fleurie, you need to drink some Métras. (It’s true that Foillard makes a Fleurie, but even admirers of this rare wine will admit that it’s not exactly in the classic Foillard style!)
If great Morgon is like Chambertin, Fleurie is Musigny. The comparison may sound ridiculous, but Métras’s wines have such complexity and elegance, and so many unexpected dimensions, that it really is a useful frame of reference. When you move from village or premier cru Burgundy up to Grand Cru, you find an extra level of sophistication and nuance—something you just didn’t imagine you even needed when you were happily drinking your lesser wine. The same kind of thing happens when you move from just about any other Cru Beaujolais to Métras’s Fleurie.
The vast majority of Beaujolais A.C. comes from south of the Cru Beaujolais on flatlands. It’s fun and fruity, when done right, but rarely as good as wine from the Crus.
But Métras’s Beaujolais comes from the village of Fleurie—in fact, from the highest vineyard in the village. Traditionally, it was just too cold there to make top quality Beaujolais and so couldn't be called Fleurie. With global warming, the altitude is more of a blessing than a problem. But rules are rules, especially in France.
Rounding out today’s story is some real news to report: Yvon’s son Jules now makes wine side by side with his Dad. It all happens in the same cellar and with the same techniques. Thanks to Jules, we now have a Chiroubles with the Métras name on it!