Andrew Guard

2016 Juliénas ‘Beauvernay’, Domaine Chignard

This year we have access to a little 2016 Juliénas ‘Beauvernay’ a new wine which comes from 1 hectare of vines inherited from his uncle. The vineyard faces 'plein sud' or directly south giving it excellent exposition to the ripening sun. The soil here is different to the pink granite of Fleurie; here we are on blue 'diorite' which is another type of igneous rock (see below). The wine is very pretty, a gorgeous cherry colour leads into charming aromas of strawberries, cherries and rocks. In the mouth it brings a smile to the face - it's purity, crunchy fresh fruit and silky length make for a very attractive wine!

We purchase the 'unfiltered' bottling which has much more vitality and life than the more common 'filtered' version. Domaine Chignard's Fleurie "Les Moriers" from the excellent 2013 vintage carries the scent of wild sweet strawberries and plum skin. It's very lush and vivid, tasting of blueberries, black cherries and plums. The vines average 60 years old and the wines are made with incredible attention to detail. This wine is very popular in France, in fact 70% of it is sold in France such is the respect for the work of the Chignard family. This is no ordinary Fleurie.

The Domaine Chignard's 8 hectares of vines are situated right at the top of the hill bordering Moulin-à-Vent, on pure granitic soil inflected with the manganese found in Moulin-à-Vent. The ‘Moriers’ lieu-dit contains their oldest vines, some of which are over 60-years-old and all of which are free-standing in traditional ‘gobelet’ style. Vinification is divided between stainless steel, cement and large wooden tanks, all using the classic whole bunch method for the maximum extraction of fruit.The wines from Chignard are quickly sold to France's many restaurants, indeed 70% of their sales are within France.