Max’s Chiroubles is a site owned by a good friend of his, sitting 400m above sea level on decomposed granite soils, with the average vine age around 65 years old. This is the most delicate and aerial style of all, with brambly blackberry fruit sliding into freshly picked rapsberries and cherries. The tannins are soft and feathery, yet the aromas are a highly concentrated, with fresh hazelnut, cacao, liquorice and cassis there too.
One of the famed ‘Gang of Four’ (Breton, Jean Foillard, Jean-Paul Thevenet and Marcel Lapierre) credited with starting the natural wine movement around the village of Villié-Morgon in the 1980s, Guy Breton is rightly considered one of the most importantBeaujolais producers in recent history. Sure, natural wine has become trendy McTrendy, but we prefer to concentrate on the intrinsic quality of the wines. Breton’s Beaujolais are possessed of a fruity vibrancy, ethereality and tension that are a marvel to behold, and show what can be done when natural winemaking is allied to obsessively careful vineyard management and a deep understanding of the entire winemaking process. It’s the combination of old vines, rigorous sorting of the grapes, low (or no) sulphur additions and a refusal to chaptalise or filter which gives these wines their arresting character. In Beaujolais terms, Breton remains a bona fide don.
FROM THE PRESS
“Limpid ruby. Vibrant, mineral-accented raspberry, cherry and potpourri scents are complemented by an expanding floral accent. Juicy and broad on entry, then tighter in the midpalate, offering primary, densely packed red fruit preserve, exotic spice and lavender pastille flavors that show outstanding clarity and back-end lift. Finishes on a resonating mineral note, displaying impressive persistence and polished tannins that lend framework and subtle grip. 94 points. Drink 2024-2034. ”Josh Raynolds, Vinous