This is a wine that may push the comfort level of some wine drinkers out there, as it is made in an uncompromising style that not every person may like. The Natural Wine movement stems from the organic/bio-dynamic farming and viticultural movements over the last few decades, taking that ideal into the winemaking itself with the goal of manipulating the finished product as little as possible. Use of native yeasts for fermentation, little fining or filtration, and as little SO2 added during bottling have become some of the hallmarks for these sort of wines that are being made all over the world, with Beaujolais and the Loire being particularly active. Bauchet is a big part of the movement in Beaujolais, taking the example from winemakers of the 70s and 80s like Jules Chauvet and Marcel Lapierre that resisted the commercial style of farming that is highly present even today, where less than 10% of the vineyards in Beaujolais are farmed without heavy chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
From the first pour in the glass, the wine is noticeably not typical as it shows a distinctive opaque haziness from the lack of filtration. The first whiff is equally unique, full of high toned cherry, cranberry and raspberry fruit and a very ‘natural’ mustiness, like standing in the vineyard after a rain shower. The dirt, the vines themselves, the undergrowth are all present at first, then subside into the background as the red fruits open up and take the forefront. On the palate the texture is on the fuller side for a Beaujolais thanks to the unfiltered mouthfeel, while the fruit stays on the savory and high toned side, loaded with more cranberry and earthy vineyard flavors. The bright acidity on the finish may make or break some people, deliciously nervy and hinting at natural ciders and gamy meats or too tart and lacking in red fruits. Undeniably well made and distinct to be sure, but the level of deliciousness and enjoyment will be up to you.