2016 Vieilles Vignes Domaine Laurent Martray
From his 50 year old vines on the steep slope directly in front of the winery in Combiaty this is Laurent's calling card. A great expression of Brouilly, lovely cherry fruit, deep, nicely polished - but not plush or too rounded. There is a great feel and a grainy brush of texture too - smart, moreish and totally real Beaujolais. All whole bunches and hand-harvested. L&S (Jan 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Quite dusty. Eucalyptus leaves ground into a powder and sprinkled on taut red plums. Bracingly tight and fresh and sleek. SO racy! Almost aperitif racy. Cranberries. Tart. Box leaf. Crunching and full of life. I'd quite like a chilli con carne with this! White pepper. Tarragon. Good length. Drinking range: 2018 - 2023 Rating: 16.5 Tamlyn Currin - www.JancisRobinson.com(May 2018)
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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