This is a very special wine from a very special person. We've know Róisín for many years and have been wowed by her focus and vision in running this amazing project, and by the quality of her wines.
This Fleurie is the first wine Róisín has made outside the traditional Burgundy zones, moving into Beaujolais. But it is a fitting transition as the quality of Gamay in Cru villages has increased in recent decades, attracting some of the best Burgundian winemakers to their vines. In this wine, Róisín makes use of traditional winemaking techniques and has taken grapes from a single selection of old vines in a vineyard called 'les Moriers' to make an engaging, fresh and complex wine, putting it at the top of the tree in this appellation.
The vines are organic and are grown on north-east facing slopes, increasing the thickness of the grape skins and potential complexity. The soils are granitic, which further increases flavour compounds. Grapes are all hand-picked, of course, and the fermentation is carried out with 100% whole bunch, pigeage-a-pied (foot pressing...) before ageing in old, inert wooden barrels for ten months. It was bottled in August of 2023, when it then rested until it came to us.
This is a stunning red full of freshness and vitality, red fruits and floral notes delivering complexity that is rarely found in wines from this village. But it's balanced in breadth and The vintage was broad and the wine is slightly darker than you may expect from Beaujolais, but that's because of the vineyard and the careful handling of fruit in the winery. This is Fleurie, but not as you know it.
Broadly speaking, Róisín gives her wines a very light fining and filtration in order to preserve the natural character of the grapes terroir as much as possible. Indeed, some of her wines are left completely unfiltered. For the winemaking itself, she uses concrete tanks or small vats for fermentation, but seldom made with new oak. In the vineyard at harvest, and in the winery, too, she does a massive amount of sorting of the grapes (called triage in the vineyard) which has sometimes reduced her potential output up to 50%, such is her determination for the best quality. The standards that she achieves has allowed her access to some of the best coopers and she now uses a mix of different barrel suppliers, buying more each of the last six harvests in which her wines have been made.
The grape suppliers for Róisín's wines are mostly all farming organically as is the case for this Fleurie, with vines over 70 years old. The wine-making philosophy is very definitely hands-off and low-intervention, allowing for terroir and variety to shine. Regular trips to the region and long-term relationships with the growers allow for total control of the process, which again gives such scintillating quality. Certainly the reaction from the growers themselves is immensely positive and this has to be the highest form of praise one could wish to attain.
Róisín is not only a winemaker and micro-negotiant (which means that she buys the grapes rather than owning the vineyards), she is a full-time pharmacist in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, and she is a Master of Wine.
Her enthusiasm for wine led to her turning a hobby into this incredible alternate life with, via lengthy studies that led her to work in Chateau Latour (yes, the Chateau Latour), Chateau Grillet in the Rhone, Geisenheim in the Rhein and Montpelier. A forensic characteristic is certainly the thing that comes to mind, yet not at the expense of being a jolly good person.
Style: Soft, Pure, Profound, Organic, Medium Bodied, Iconic, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Veal, Trout, Steak, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Game, Fine Dining, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef