The Domaine des Terres Dorées is located in the Southern Beaujolais, just north of Lyons, in a beautiful area known as the “Region of the Golden Stones.” Jean-Paul Brun is the owner and winemaker at this 40-acre family estate. Brun has attracted the attention of the French and American press for the wonderfully fruity and delicate wines he produces. Brun wants to make “old-style” Beaujolais and his vinification differs from the prevailing practices in the region. He believes that the charm of the Gamay’s fruit is best expressed by the grapes’ indigenous yeast, rather than by adding industrial yeast. Brun’s view is that Beaujolais drinks best at a lower degree of alcohol and there is no need to systematically add sugar to the must (chaptalize) to reach alcohol levels of 12 to 13 degrees. So he chaptalizes minimally or not at all - depending on the vintage and the cuvee. His Beaujolais is made to be pleasurable - light, fruity and delicious - not an artificially inflated wine that shines at tasting competitions. Only a minimum amount of SO2 is used at bottling to keep the wine fresh and “headache-free.” Fermentation naturally produces a lot of CO2, which acts as protection against oxidation during aging; leaving some in the wine at bottling time also helps to keep it fresh. Filtration is also minimal so that the wine keeps its original fruit and aromas. Brun’s wines are not “blockbusters” in the sense of being “big.” The emphasis is not on weight, but on fruit. Beaujolais as it once was and as it should be. Brun’s methods – to make Beaujolais from natural yeasts, to not chaptalize, to work at low yields, and to restore the Gamay of the Beaujolais as a light, delicate and silky drink. In 2007, two-thirds of his crop was rejected by the Beaujolais bureaucracy for being “atypical” and he had to bottle as Vin de Table. The wine received 90 points in The Wine Advocate and was adored by Beaujolais lovers all over the world. Go figure. There’s Chardonnay from limestone soils and the Beaujolais l‘Ancien which is the antithesis of major commercial Beaujolais, plus a range of Cru Beaujolais which he has acquired over the past few years. The reds are a traditional Burgundy vinification and the grapes de-stemmed – no carbonic maceration here. Renegade wines for people who like natural Beaujolais.
Link to a good article on JP Brun.
“Jean-Paul Brun’s 2010 Moulin-à-Vent is a great wine in the making, soaring from the glass in a deep, pure and still quite primary mélange of red and black cherries, nutskins, woodsmoke, a complex base of dark soil tones, fresh herbs and a bit of coffee bean. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very soil-driven in personality, with a fine core of fruit, excellent focus and balance, ripe, well-integrated tannins and excellent length and grip on the tangy finish. This is still young days for this outstanding Moulin-à-Vent and I would give this at least three or four years to really start to blossom. It should be at its best around its tenth birthday and will keep far beyond that point. 2015-2035. 93+.
-John Gilman, View From The Cellar, January-February, 2012 – Issue # 37