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Lafarge-Vial, Fleurie "Joie de Palais", 2019


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When a famous winemaker wanders far from home to make a totally new wine, you can be skeptical. When Gaja makes Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, how much of Gaja’s magic really ends up in the final wine? It can be hard to say.

It's not hard to say with Lafarge's Beaujolais: Yes, they bottled their magic.

Lafarge, of course, has been making magic in Volnay for decades. But with small holdings, frost and hail, they don't get to make enough of it to go around. So they headed a little south to the Beaujolais, where they bought vines and named their new Domaine Lafarge-Vial (Vial is Chantal’s maiden name).

It shouldn't come as a big surprise that they've done such a good job. The family has made one of the greatest Bourgogne Passetoutgrains for generations: they know Gamay.

More important, Beaujolais isn't that far from home. So they have no problem being actively involved in the farming (same organic and biodynamic practices as in Volnay) and the winemaking. As a bonus, Gamay in Beaujolais ripens at a slightly different time than their grapes in Volnay, so they can do one harvest after another without missing a beat.

Professional Reviews


BH 92
"This too is attractively elegant and admirably pure with its even more floral suffused aromas of essence of dark berries that are laced with discreet spice wisps. There is fine volume and delineation to the vibrant and intensely mineral-driven medium weight flavors that firm up as the strikingly long finish sits on the palate. Even so, I suspect that this will be approachable after 3 to 4 years if you enjoy your Beaujolais on the younger side." -Allen Meadow

Robert Parker

RP 94
"The 2019 Fleurie Joie de Palais is taut and concentrated, unwinding in the glass with notes of raspberries, cherries, sweet spices and musk. Medium to full-bodied, lively and saline, it's a vibrant, mineral wine with upside for those with a little patience. As readers may remember, this 1.5-hectare parcel of steeply sloping decomposed pink granite was planted in the 1950s. The 2019s have turned out beautifully at Domaine Lafarge-Vial, bursting with fragrant fruit, finer boned and more ethereal in style than the 2018s at the same stage. Acquired in 2014 by Volnay's Frédéric Lafarge and his wife Chantal, née Vial, this four-hectare domaine is biodynamically farmed. The grapes are partially destemmed and fermented with punch-downs and pump-overs during the maceration, followed by pressing in a vertical press. Maturation is in well-used cooperage from the Domaine Lafarge in Volnay. The result is old-school cru Beaujolais, built to age. Any readers looking for Gamay that will, with time in bottle, converge with great Pinot Noir should look no further." -Robert Parker


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Light Bodied

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