Domaine de Briante, Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition
I tasted a vertical of Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition. Laurent releases the some wine from each vintage later in the market having aged them first. Now they are selling the 2012 for example. “We propose a vintage when it is ready to drink.” However some of the vintage is released earlier. “We work at two speeds.”
First a quick canter through the vintages in the Beaujolais with Lauren. These are her thoughts.
2011: Very mature. By the end of August it was finished
2012: Wet year with disease. We harvested mid September. Lots of sorting. Finesse. A vintage to keep.
2013: We harvested from the 29th September. It was a late vintage. Good acidity and structure.
2014: With hail we lost 50% in July. So this was difficult. However it’s made wine which are classic, light and have good acidity, but not big structure.
2015 Hot and dry with an end of August harvest. Low quantities. High degrees and low acidity. We prefer more digestive wines.
2016 A great vintage, although there was some hail in Moulin a Vent. Very heathy and the structure is lighter than 2015 with good acidity.
2017 Close to 2015 in style, but with better balance. It was dry, drier than in 2015. High alcohol, but better acidity. A nice vintage – between 2015 and 2016 in style.
Tasted in November 2017.
*Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition 2016
Plentiful juicy red fruit on the nose. It’s soft and nicely rounded. A charming wine with the acidity to be nicely energetic. Well ripened red fruit and supple tannins. Notes of Victoria plum. All most pleasant and easy to enjoy. It’s ready when you are.
**Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition 2015
Darker fruit. Touch of black plum and certainly some spice here too. The tannins are richer, fuller and more marked. Touch of liquorish. Quite a bit more matter and grip than easy going 2016. Both are nice, but this has more substance.
Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition 2014
This is light and fresh. Red cherry fruit and a touch of mint. Definitely a cooler feeling here. The tannins are light, slightly leafy, but the acidity is not too high. It’s quite light. Not a lot of substance here.
Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition 2013
Quite light bodied; maybe a touch lean. More acidity here. There are red cherry notes, but also showing some development with some nutty, mushroom notes and a touch of soya and dried leaf on the finish. It is a little drying on the finish, maybe the combination of the acidity and tannins. I do not think this will improve.
*Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition 2012
The 2012 is a good deal better than the 2013 (and showing less development) and more appealing than 2014. There is good substance; dark fruit, really quite spicy with firm ..if not slightly tart acidity to balance. The tannins, which are certainly ripe, seemed a touch grippy, but as the wine opened they smoothed and became rather more elegant. It’s quite peppy and there is some tension here. I liked it.
*Beaujolais, Brouilly Tradition 2011
This is supple and charming. A nice fluidity. Actually not unlike the 2016 in the easy charm. Plentiful, ripe red fruits, rather luscious, and the tannins and soft in the mid palate. The tannins show a little on the finish, but in a good way, giving it a edge of bitter bite, to balance the sense of sweetness. This is very nice now. As it opens it shows more of the evolved character..acorns and a hint of forest floor. It’s very pleasant and easier than the 2012. Moreover it stayed this way for several days. You cannot help liking this wine.
Having tried the vertical, it’s clear you could keep the 2016. It will keep 4 or 5 years, but I am not sure there is a great deal to be gained. The 2011 is lovely now, but it’s a wine that has not developed much complexity with age. This is Domaine de Briante’s entry level wine, hence it is made to be enjoyed young. This the vertical I was given to take away and try, but this promises well for their more serious cuvées. It would be interesting to taste a vertical of the Côte de Brouilly another time.
The Burgundy Briefing 2016 Vintage Report contains the notes for 2016 Domaine de Briante’s other wines -Beaujolais Baronne, Côte de Brouilly, Moulin a Vents and Beaujolais Blanc, which is really rather good.
On my drive back I stopped in Cluny for a spot of lunch and I just have to mention Le Bistrot Chez Les Garcons a quirky, kitsch place with delicious, hearty food, paper napkins and tin chairs on Place du Commerce. I was persuaded to have the pork loin, not something I normally eat, but it was very tasty indeed.