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BY ANTHONY HANSON MW, 18 June, 2020
It was in 2014 that Frédéric and Chantal Lafarge of Volnay decided to buy vineyards in Beaujolais, starting with two plots in Fleurie, and one in Chiroubles. Vial is Chantal’s maiden name. Frédéric has been a pioneer of bio-dynamic cultivation in Volnay, so it was natural that they should immediately move cultivation of their Beaujolais cru vineyards from the mainly organic methods of the previous owner towards bio-dynamism, The first two wines to be certified bio-dynamic by DEMETER were Fleurie Joie du Palais and Fleurie Clos Vernay, from the 2019 vintage. All wines will be certified by the 2020 vintage.
Today, in addition to the above single-vineyard plots, they make a third Fleurie, blended from three plots, a Chiroubles – all from old vines - and a Côte de Brouilly, from a younger vineyard.
The vineyards are planted 100% with Gamay, of course. The grapes are de-stemmed, though 20%-25% whole bunches may be retained for fermentation, which takes place in concrete tanks. Aging in wood will last approx. 14 months, partly in 228-litre barrels, partly in 350-litre demi-muids, partly in 30-hectolitre old oak tuns (foudres, as is traditional in the region). The wines achieved show pure, richly textured fruit, with supple, long lasting, refreshing aftertastes, while subtly reflecting their different origins.