Jean-claude Lapalu

Beaujolais can be such a different beast to the bubble Gum flavoured Nouveau de Boeuf of the bad old days.

Jean-claude Lapalu.  The wines of Lapalu have a very distinctive personality.  Is this where the schist of the Côte de Brouilly touches the signature granite of Brouilly? The wines seems almost to inhabit a hypothetical halfway house between Beaujolais and Priorat.  Jean-Claude only uses indigenous yeasts and doesn’t use any sulphur during vinification, (there is only some added at the bottling and then only in very small quantities: 2gr/hl). These are biodynamic wines but without some of the less desirable aromas and flavours that can sometimes inhabit bio wines.  They are very clean and pure, full bodied and delicious examples of Gamay.

Beaujolais is a serious wine, made from one of the world’s best red grapes, Gamay. Cru wines are now very much in vogue and can be seriously textured wines of depth and complexity which can age a long time. None more so than Brouilly Lapalu, a veritable Cru among Crus from 60-80 year old vines in Brouilly. Grapes are hand-picked and sorted, loaded by conveyor to avoid damage, and given neither SO2 nor cultured yeasts during the fermentation.  During the 8-10 days maceration, a wooden grill is used to enhance extraction. The wine stays at least half year on its fine lees gaining power and complexity. And yet the Brouilly are neither heavy nor clumsy and one could easily imagine them ageing ten to fifteen years.

Jean Claude also makes the best Nouveau we have ever tasted.  Normally this is wine which we do not vote for its gimmickry.  However, smaller, natural growers are changing the approach and quality of this previously vacuous wine.  Last years Nouveau from Lapalu was a triomph and made us change our mind!  Very limited quantities of the Beaujolais also seems like a good sign.  It is a lovely juicy Gamay made naturally, we have to embrace that!

Jean Claude Lapalu

Jean-claude Lapalu

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Brouilly Lapalu

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