Domaine des Terres Dorées - Moulin-à-Vent 'La Rochelle' 2018
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For years we've been preaching that scores don't matter—and while that's always been true, sometimes when one of our winemakers get a good one from a mainstream publication it catches us off guard. The wunderchild of The Wine Advocate, William Kelley, gave huge plaudits to Jean-Paul in 2018, with a ton of wines getting 90+ and La Rochelle even getting a 93+.
We received those scores in the mail from a proud Mr. Brun even before we had received the wines (although we had already placed our orders), and couldn't wait for the wines to arrive on our shores.
When they did, we rested the wines and did a vertical, and obviously had to agree with Kelley—these are phenomenal wines. 'La Rochelle' is a big but elegant Gamay that is meant to last. If we had to compare to Burgundy, we'd say it's more Gevrey than Vosne, but we aren't complaining either way.
Annual Production: N/A
Blend: 100% Gamay
Winemaking : Malolactic fermentation, lees stirred periodically, aged in steel and concrete tank until bottling in the spring
Drinking Window: 2020-2035
93+ Points The Wine Advocate, 2020-2035
The 2018 Moulin-à-Vent La Rochelle unfurls in the glass with aromas of spicy berry fruit, espresso roast, candied peel and dark chocolate. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated with a firmer, more tensile profile than the Thorins this year—and likely greater potential, too.
- William Kelley
Jean-Paul Brun is a tall, imposing, yet whisper-quiet man who lives in a rural, cobblestone medieval village just Northwest of Lyon, within southern Burgundy. The village, Charnay, sits dead center in the so called “Terres Dorées,” an area named after the golden calcareous stones lining its rolling hillside vineyards.
Brun has built a devoted and passionate following for his wines by sidestepping the Beaujolais trend of producing soft, carbonic-macerated, whole-berry “Beaujolais style” reds. Instead, he pursues a Burgundian approach by ruthlessly hand sorting and destemming all fruit at harvest. His wines are often aged (and sometimes fermented) in neutral Burgundian oak barrels.