|Style||Dry, Red, Medium Bodied, Fresh, Black Fruits|
Château de Belleverne, Chénas is a deep beetroot coloured and velvety red. On the palate, it displays ripe Victoria plum flavours with pleasingly cleansing tannins. There is an uplifting crispness in the enjoyable finish. Perfect for complementing roast pork, beef bourguignon, or roasted root vegetables. Try with Comté or Tomme de Savoie for the ultimate cheese pairing.
About the Producer
Like all good stories, that of Boutinot France is both long and a little bit complicated! Boutinot began as a tiny importer in 1980, specialising in French wines. Paul Boutinot himself began by personally selecting the wines from France, back in the UK he would unload the trailer by hand. And deliver the crates of wines to customers himself. But good things grow and by the end of the decade we had become a bigger and better company. A company that not only sought out great wines but made them too. After 10 years later, Boutinot France started in January 1990. The first office was in the middle of the vines in Julienas; perfectly located to navigate the Beaujolais and Macon regions on the quest to make beautiful wines..
Today, Boutinot’s French office has recently relocated to Macon, and has over 20 employees who take care of production across the whole of France, covering fresh whites and rosés from Gascony, mineral wines from Burgundy, and joyful varietal wines from Languedoc among others. We don’t use any single model to source our wines; instead, a combination of sources are used, from large-scale, high-quality co-ops to small, family growers and single domaines, as well as our own vineyards in Cairanne and Saint-Vérand. Drawing on the expertise of our four winemakers and a network of partner growers, we seek to deliver the highest quality-to-price ratio possible for every wine.
Vineyard and Winery
Chénas is named after chênaies, the dense oak forests which blanketed the Beaujolais region before Philippe V ordered them all to be cut down to make room for vines. Today, the vineyards of Chénas cover just 237ha, making it the smallest of the Beaujolais Cru. Soils are mainly granite, with some areas of schist and fertile alluvial clay. Granite and Gamay go hand in hand - granite is rich in quartz but the soils are generally poor and drain really well (great for vines). Most importantly, when rain meets quartz the result is silicic acid, which is good for Gamay as it stimulates deep root growth and - counter intuitively - keeps grape acidity in check. Chénas is where Aimé Bataillard, founder of Château de Belleverne, first planted Gamay on quartz rich silex / limestone soils in the outskirts of the village of La Chapelle de Guinchay. Today the domaine, now run by Aimé’s sons Didier and Alain and grandson Michael, has 36ha in four of the ten Beaujolais Cru - Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas – as well as Beaujolais Villages in the northern realms of the appellation. Vines are at least 50 years of age, produce yields way below the appellation standard and are managed following ‘High Environmental Value’ (HVE) principles; a certification Belleverne gained in 2018 to ‘a guarantee that the pressure applied to the environment by farming practices (on air, water, soil, climate, biodiversity and landscape) is kept to a minimum.’ Hand-harvested grapes are immediately cooled as they arrive at the cellar, following significant investment in cooling equipment. Didier and Alain increasingly de-stem the majority of the harvest to gain complexity without hard tannins. They prefer a semi-carbonic maceration, having mastered the technique of cooling the grapes in each of their concrete tanks to slow the process down. This slower fermentation, of between 10 and 13 days for each separately vinified parcel, together with twice daily remontage to fully submerge the cap and optimise the extraction of fruit and flavours, achieves a greater expression of fruit character in the final wine. Château de Belleverne produce this Chénas only for Boutinot; having worked with Samantha Bailey since 2014 the Bataillard’s now allow her crucial ‘first access’ to their cellar, to taste each and every cuvée before anyone else, when creating the blend for this exclusive Chénas.
This is a favorite of mine. Great as a pre dinner drink and light and easy for those who don’t like too much tannin but also good with light food, poultry, cheese, pasta etc. Please get more in.
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