2015 Vieilles Vignes Domaine Laurent Martray
Strawberry and raspberry fruit concentration touch of sweetness, palate has good rich tannins, plenty of fruit weight, strawberry, cherry with plenty of ripe acid giving balance. L&S (Nov 2016)
*Case Price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Granite rocks, sand and silt soils. Partially destemmed. Aged in foudres and new muids. Mid crimson. Juicy, scented and gentle, the oak not showing except in its rounded sweetness on the finish. Lightish and elegant with a juicy fresh finish. Drinking range: 2017 - 2022 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Jun 2017)
Laurent Martray is the fourth generation to run this 19ha estate which has some of the oldest vines in the region. It has inviting violet and red cherry fruit, fine tannins, depth and precision. A touch of farmyard funk adds complexity. Rating: 91 Christelle Guibert, Decanter (Apr 2017)
Vibrantly youthful in colour and bright, sweet red cherry aromatic come-hither scents, this exuberantly cherryish Gamay from the hills of Brouilly, is refreshingly juicy with an attractively earthy beetrooty underlay and a mouthwatering acidity that makes it ideal for grilled sausages, hamburgers and black pudding. Rating: 89 www.thewinegang.com (Mar 2017)
Domaine Laurent Martray
It is a great relief when you eventually track down the bubbly and charming Laurent Martray at his home down a muddy track just over the crest of the hill of Combillaty. He only produces from 9 hectares of vines, half of which he owns, and half he has been renting and working as his own for more than 12 years. They are all in the top Brouilly terroir of Combillaty. He normally produces about 700 cases in total. The Vieilles Vignes is aged in large oak 'foudres'. The combination of old vines and great winemaking makes Laurent Martray less vintage dependent than many Beaujolais producers. His wines have a fabulous depth of fruit with unusual purity and elegance - very impressive stuff.
Unfortunately, the word "Beaujolais" has become all too readily attached to the word "Nouveau". There's nothing wrong with a bit of fun, and at its best the old Beaujolly Nouveau is fun with a party hat on. But there is a lot more to Beaujolais than young wines being raced across France in sports cars and fruity red wine with your breakfast. Those in the know are starting to purr appreciatively over the wines of the Beaujolais crus. These are the villages whose wines are good enough to be elevated above the generic Beaujolais name and have been given their own appellations. It's all Gamay, so bright crisp fruit is the story of the day, but there's more - there's a silky feel almost occasionally redolent of Pinot Noir and even an ability to improve with a little age. From the subtle delights of Fleurie to the gently peppered Morgon, albeit all on the light side, this is a case that will enhance any wine lovers cellar/wine rack/cupboard under the stairs.
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