2016 Justin Dutraive Fleurie ‘Chapelle des Bois’
Pale limpid cherry red. Subtle smoky earthy notes with sappy forest berries. It’s looking fairly tight aromatically at the moment, post-shipping. Like the Grand’Cour ‘Tous Ensemble’ it shows more of its personality in the mouth: classic carbo silky texture, sweet sappy raspberry and strawberry fruits, fine mineral acidity and powdery tannins. This is still a baby and its sense of place suggests very good things to come, but it’s going to be hard to resist.
Justin Dutraive follows the advice of his father very closely, not because of lack of knowledge or creativity, but because of the deep respect and admiration for what his father has achieved. Justin leases his old parcel of Beaujolais; his Beaujolais-Villages was acquired in time for the 2016 vintage and his prize 100 year old Fleurie ‘Chapelle des Bois’ came directly from his grandfather.
Justin’s Beaujolais vineyard is in fairly non-descript flatlands next to some corn and wheat fields. It is isolated from other vineyards, which probably helps shield it from disease. He has already made two very fine Bojos with this average terroir. The Beaujolais-Villages vineyard is in the villages of Sainte-Etienne-la-Varenne on the edge of the southern part of Brouilly; just a stone’s throw from Jean-Claude Lapalu’s house and ‘Beaujolais-Villages Vieilles Vignes’ vines. The granite influence is very strong here, with shallow soil of coarse pink granite sand directly above the granite bedrock. His Chapelle des Bois is from richer soils than Jean-Louis’ and produces a richer style.
All the vineyards are worked organically with everything except spraying done by hand, including weed removal. The wines are made with exactly the same technique and philosophy as his father, albeit with some slightly different fermenters which aid in the extra fruit extraction in his wines.
Apart from Domaine de la Grand’Cour Justin has worked at Jean Foillard and Julie Blagny in Beaujolais, vineyards in Oregon and spent part of 2016 working at Sinapius and Gentle Folk in Australia.
2016 is Justin’s second vintage under his eponymous label and his wines have already established a strong reputation. We have to fight hard for an allocation, as French stockists and importers from around the globe swoop in on them.
Check the link for a good article on Justin and his wines…