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Average critic rating : 92.0 points
The 2013 Beaujolais L’Ancien Le Buissy comes from two parcels of 65+-year-old vines that Jean-Paul makes in the best years, the grapes de-stemmed and fermented in barrel. It has a “complete” bouquet with red currant and briary scents, an undercurrent of cold stone developing with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit and a keen line of acidity. The finish feels as if it needs more time to coalesce, and therefore it should be afforded two or three years in bottle. ||Readers will already be aware of my appreciation for the wines of Jean-Paul Brun at Domaine de la Terres Dorrée, located in Charnay in Southern Beaujolais. Having not found time to visit Jean-Paul last year, it was time to ring his doorbell. Unfortunately, his winery is one of those that is difficult to locate due to lack of signage. Indeed, Jean-Paul’s wife was giving me directions on my mobile phone while Jean-Paul himself was waving in my rear-view mirror. Once inside, we tasted in his small tasting room where he welcomes visitors that drop by, though this being Southern Beaujolais, I suspect they are fans of his wines rather than those making a tour of the village crus in Northern Beaujolais. He told me how he established the domaine back in 1979 with about four hectares of vine, his father selling fruit to the local co-operative, a practice that is, of course, still common in this part of the region. He has now expanded to 30 hectares. There are two points that distinguish Jean-Paul from his contemporaries. First, the white wines are an important part of his portfolio, and second, he practices a “Bourguignon” approach to vinifying his wines, de-stemming his clusters, the use of natural yeasts, no carbonic maceration and maturation in either concrete or wooden vats. “It was a difficult flowering,” Jean-Paul informed me, “so there was late maturity. Crops were around 30% down compared to last year.”||Tasting through his 2013 and 2014s, Jean-Paul Brun has overseen a raft of beautifully crafted wines that could persuade even the most militant “traditionalist” Beaujolais winemaker that there is room for both styles within the region. I actually preferred the “Bourguignon” style white Burgundy that sees a little new oak that offers great depth and precision. There are plenty of choices when it comes to his recent red releases, but my own pick would be a fabulous 2013 Morgon Côte du Py, one of the finest that I tasted during my trip and the 2013 Moulin-à-Vent Les Thorins that would be the bottle I would tuck away in my cellar (and Jean-Paul builds his best wines for longevity.) Thirdly, the 2013 Fleurie “Grille-Midi” is a personal favorite of mine. Think of a Fleurie with high aspirations, that looks at the famous vineyards up in the Côte d’Or and thinks “I could do that”. Those 60-year old vines produce a Fleurie with more backbone and structure than its peers, genuine complexity and panache. eRobertParker.com.June, 2015
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