Domaine des Chopins 'Le Désert' Beaujolais AOC 2021

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Domaine des Chopins 'Le Désert' Beaujolais AOC 2021
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Country France
Region Beaujolais
Appellation/Sub-Region Beaujolais AOC
Grapes Gamay
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine

When his father passed away in 2020, the ever-ambitious Germain Santailler didn’t hesitate to take over his family’s grape-growing operations in the village of Marchampt (the deep southern of Beaujolais), to stop bulk selling grapes to the local negoce and begin vinifying his own wine. Being just 19 years old at the time and with their eight hectares of vines climbing up some of the steepest slopes in the region, however, he needed a little help. Luckily, Jean-Claude Lapalu—one of the most revered natural winemakers in France and a family friend of the Santaillers—was around. Under Jean-Claude’s tutelage, Germain homed in on agriculture, began converting to organics and learned to apply a light touch in the cellar, and has since been crafting contemporary, nuanced wines of equal parts gravitas and elegance. From a single parcel of 70-year-old gamay vines grown 1,500-2,000 feet above sea level, this wine saw 10 days of carbonic maceration followed by five months of aging in large neutral oak barrels. The results are enchanting: A lovely magenta color in the glass, it wafts aromas of a dew-covered forest and fresh-tilled earth, ripe red cherries and violets. On the palate, it’s tannic but plenty soft, offering pomegranate and ripe raspberry tones, licorice and white peppercorn. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine.