Domaine de Bel-Air
Beaujeu is the pretty market town, that gives it’s name to Beaujolais. It is from here that the granite-based hills commence and two kilometres away the Domaine de Bel-Air is found at the top of a precipitous slope of vines. The views of the vineyards from the house are stunning. The gradients are so steep that virtually no mechanical equipment can be used and the land is largely worked by hand.
We first discovered Jean-Marc Lafont ten years ago, and we were bowled over by his 2005s, which were sold out within weeks of our first shipment. Subsequently, we were quick to grab his legendary 2009s, which sold out even more rapidly!
He took over the 13 hectare estate in 1985 and has progressively modernised the estate. His attention to detail defines the quality of the wines – green harvesting, hand picking, and a long fermentation all help to produce fabulous quality.
He is a great innovator and last summer we tasted the first vintage of Viognier and Syrah that he has planted in his Beaujolais vineyard – absolutely superb, but the authorities won’t like it!
Our recent visit was as productive as ever. Always on the look-out for more vines, he has acquired several new parcels of old vines with great terroir in Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin à Vent. We were extremely impressed by these wines and have selected three for this offer.
The 2014 vintage was great, with his delicious Beaujolais Villages and seriously concentrated Morgon both picking up major awards. And, for the first time we’ve chosen his new Moulin à Vent from the elegant 2013 vintage, which is more Burgundian in style.
There really is nowhere else in the wine world that can produce such sheer enjoyment in a glass from the Gamay and currently these Cru Beaujolais represent marvellous value for money. They are all bursting with ripe fruit and are ready to enjoy now….
A Mixed Case consists of four bottles of each of –
Domaine de Bel-Air, Les Granits Bleus 2014
AOP Beaujolais Villages
Named after the special granite terroir, this is favourite of ours shines in 2014. It comes from a single vineyard with very good exposure to the sun and excellent drainage. It is deep in colour and has a superb young, racy cherry nose, leading into a mouthwatering cocktail of red cherries and redcurrants, and finishing with racy acidity. Gorgeous just on its own, but goes brilliantly with charcuterie or goats’ cheese. Amazing value!
Domaine de Bel-Air, Les Charmes 2014
This newly purchased slope in Morgon has vines with an average age of 50 years! It is very deep in colour with a delightful, ripe black cherry nose and hints of violets . On the palate it is bursting with juicy black cherry and damson fruit and nuances of Kirsch towards the finish. Very long with an intriguing mineral aftertaste, expressing the granite terroir of these slopes.
Domaine de Bel-Air, Les Burdelines 2013
AOP Moulin à Vent
From another new parcel, with a terroir rich in granite and manganese, this also has vines with an average age of 50 years. At harvest only the very best grapes are triaged for this special cuvée. The wine is then aged for nine months in Burgundian barrels. The results are fabulous. It is a slightly lighter colour than the other two wines. There is an enchanting perfumed nose of ripe fruit, almonds and irises and the barest hint of oak. This leads into a very elegant, round, silky, complex wine with a mineral aftertaste. It demonstrates how Moulin à Vent can produce wines of Burgundian complexity. It just needs some rare beef to accompany it… A star!