Jean-Claude Chanudet

(Beaujolais-Villages, France) 

Jean-Claude Chanudet is one of the movers and shakers in the natural wine world of Beaujolais. This particular parcel is one bought with Marie LaPierre in 2010, and is composed of 2.5 hectares of granitic soils. He follows a similar philosophy to the greats of Beaujolais: he interferes as little as possible in both the vineyard and the cellar, refraining from the use of harmful, inorganic chemicals and additives. Only indigenous yeasts are used in the cellar, and a long, slow carbonic maceration gives the suppleness and softness for which Chanudet’s cuvées have become known. While not certified organic, Chanudet follows the same practices to a tee, stating that it is not up to the organic winemakers to write “Organic wine” on their labels, but rather to the others to indicate “Chemically-produced wine.” Chanudet’s wines are intense and structured and are built for ageing.

Beaujolais, ‘La Cuvée du Chat’

100% Gamay

Originally classified as Beaujolais-Villages, "La Cuvée du Chat" drinks more like a cru from Brouilly. It comes from the granitic soils of a tiny 2.5 hectare parcel bought by Jean-Claude Chanudet and Marie LaPierre from a friend in 2010. The parcel was planted by a woman in 1945, and this vintage is the first harvest since Chanudet and LaPierre took over and began the conversion to organic agriculture. The beautiful Gamay grapes from these 80 year old vines are handpicked in October, after which Carbonic maceration with natural yeasts occurs in an enamel tank with some pumping over to stimulate activity. The wine is then moved to foudres to rest on lees before finally being bottled with minimal SO2.