Ici et Là 2016
A Wine That
is the slightly darker, more muscular cousin of Gamay - it's like Gamay dressed in a biker jacket. More rugged around the edges, with more of a wild, dark fruit profile - think blackberries with wild sage - this is a wine that sits in chargrilled veg and BBQ meat territory.
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- Winemaker: Anne-Sophie Dubois
Where and How?
This is 80% Gamaret and 80% Gamay from Anne-Sophie's vineyard in Fleurie, Beaujolais. As Gamaret is not permitted in the Fleurie AOC (only Gamay is), it is a Vin de France. Anne-Sophie's experimentation with the variety, which is an offspring of Gamay, has become her creative outlet. She says,
“I love Gamay. We only have Gamay in Beaujolais. The combination between the soils and the climate here for the variety is unparalleled, but I just felt like trying something else too, just to see…”
Harvest is done by hand, and all the bunches are sorted in the vineyard and put into tiny cases so that the skins of the berries aren’t broken, to make sure the first juice has no oxidation. All of the Gamaret is destemmed, as the variety has tough skins so it can be difficult to get juice from them, then aged in old oak barrels.
Anne-Sophie grew up in a small village in Champagne, where her mother and father were grape growers, but never winemakers. Her family had the chance to purchase some land in Fleurie, in Beaujolais, when she was little. After having done winemaking internships in Champagne, she moved to Burgundy to study, interning at the same time in Volnay. It was here that she discovered her love for viticulture. She remembers,
“When I first started working in the vines, I said to myself… There's another dimension here. It’s not just about producing a kilo of grapes. You observe a plant, you observe the ongoings of the year, you observe the wine that follows.” She pauses, then smiles and continues, “when you've experienced that, you can't go back. It's as if you're a caged animal who has been outside, roaming the grass for the first time. Why would you want to go back inside?"
She moved to Beaujolais shortly after, to pursue farming the vineyards which her family had bought when she was little. Here, her vines sit at the top of the Fleurie Cru, at 400m, which in times of global warming means her wines always have freshness. All of her eight hectares sit on the same plot, and she has no neighbours. This is important to her:
“I have my own ecosystem, my neighbours are far away. Once, I rented a plot in Moulin-à-Vent, that was surrounded by neighbours who farmed chemically. I tried for three years to make wine from that plot but I never succeeded in making something I was happy with. That’s when I truly realised the importance of creating your own ecosystem, and how that translates into your wine. It’s incredibly hard for people who have plots surrounded by neighbours whose farming philosophies you don’t share.”