The Vault is Open! Fleurie, Les Marrans by Domaine des Marrans | 2018
It’s no secret that sommeliers love Cru Beaujolais. We buy a lot of it, drink way too much of it, and strangely, never get tired of it — the total “Joie de vivre” wine with its big intoxicating fruits, rosy earth, and feel-good freshness.
Out of the ten crus (or zones) of Beaujolais, we typically associate Fleurie with being the more "feminine" cru due to its decomposed granite soils which give the wines a bouncy aroma and extended lift and glide on the palate. One of the most underrated producers in Fleurie (and all of Beaujolais), Mathieu Mélinand is the talented man of Domaine des Marrans, an estate founded by his father in 1970. This single-block bottling "Les Marrans" is the heart of the winery, where 45+ year-old vines of Gamay bury their roots in the pinkish granite sands. Unlike Pinot Noir, the vines, here, grown without a trellis, kind-of "freestyle," (otherwise known as en vaso or gobelet style) on stocky trunks and with canopies that look like leafy snow cones, circulating air and providing shade so the berries mature at a calm and leisurely pace. Winemakers adore these gobelet vines because they are naturally low-yielding, and give world-class Gamay its unmistakable luscious texture on the palate.
Made in a "more natural" fashion (organic farming, low yields, whole cluster fermentation, partial carbonic maceration, no racking, low sulfur, no fining, nor filtration, etc.), "Les Marrans" is pitch-perfect, acoustic Gamay. Translucent and purple in the glass, the nose is a spiral of crushed berries, Concord grape, pink peppercorn, and candied rose. Then, like soft serve ice cream, it's cool and creamy on the palate, and the flavors hang-out for a while, balanced by tangy acidity and ultra-fine tannins. So, if the holidays have you feeling sleepy and tired, it's time to wake-up, refresh yourself, and get your Gamay on!
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France
Tasting Notes: Pink peppercorn, Concord grape, wild berry
Drink with: Lemongrass Sausage from Tran An Vietnamese
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