Nicholas Pearce presents the wines of Stéphane Aviron…
Stéphane Aviron has adopted an almost radical return to tradition in Beaujolais: sustainable viticulture, extremely old vines and classic Burgundian techniques.
His cru Beaujolais drink like fine Burgundy.
Historically considered “poor man’s Burgundy”, a modern movement toward fruity, simple, quaffing wines boosted sales but eroded the region’s traditional quality. Stéphane Aviron has reversed the trend. By focusing on the Beaujolais Village Crus, the best sites for unique, expressive wines, and finding old parcels of vines, Aviron creates very expressive, age-worthy wines relying on traditional and new methods, including organic and biodynamic vineyard management. All wines are labeled “Vieilles Vignes”, old vines, because the vines are at least 40 years old. Stéphane Aviron’s wines are authentic in every way.
100% Gamay sourced from 50+ year old vines in the lieu-dit of ‘Les Monthieux’.
This light, elegant Beaujolais Villages drinks above its price point owing to the complexity of fruit and minerality from the old vines. Whole cluster fermentation and a six-day maceration extract intense fruit flavours while maintaining overall finesse. The wine is then aged in inert oak so as not to impact the freshness of the wine with any overt oak aromas. Biodynamic
Old vines on volcanic soils, at least 40-years-old, are behind this ripely structured wine. It was wood aged to give the extra richness this producer looks for. With concentration and tannins, this cru will age.
Fleurie, Cru Beaujolais Villages 2015 $25.95 12x750mL
This wine is packed with cheerful red fruits that are given a more serious edge by the tannic structure and acidity. With its touch of pepper and minerality, it will age well over the next two years. The cru wine comes from a family-owned property on steep slopes.
Moulin a Vent, Cru Beaujolais Villages 2016 $25.95 12x750mL
Notes of cassis, wild plums, liquorice and grilled meats. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and supple, its tannins cloaked in fleshy fruit making it one of the most charming of Aviron’s 2016s, as well as one of the most serious.
Julienas, Cru Beaujolais Villages 2011 $27.95 12x750mL
ONLY 2 CASES AVAILABLE
There is certainly much to like here, from an expansive and sweetly ripe palate, through high-toned notes of almond extract and maraschino that mingle with the oak-induced overtones, to a sustained, salt- and crushed stone-accented if faintly rough and only modestly juicy finish.
Julienas, Cru Beaujolais Villages 2012 $26.95 12x750mL
Hints of dark chocolate and smoke underscore the fig cake, baked plum and cured tobacco notes in this chewy, light- to medium-bodied red. Offers a fresh, mineral finish.
Julienas, Cru Beaujolais Villages 2014 $24.95 12x750mL
Produced from two separate vineyards, the wine has all the concentration of old vines. It has tannins and dark fruits, blackberry and black plum. This is a finely structured cru wine that will need to age.
Morgon Château Gaillard, Cru Beaujolais Villages 2012 $26.95 12x750mL
Considered to be one of the more full-bodied and serious Crus, Morgon wines have great capacity to age because of their tannic structure and density. The heavy concentration of granitic soils, particularly in Morgon, create rich and powerful wines and over time the intense cherry aromas transform to earthy, terroir driven notes.
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