It is always a pleasure to receive some wines from the queen of Beaujolais, Julie Balagny.
Last year was a warm, dry vintage in these parts and Julie was able to harvest plenty of ripe, healthy grapes. After a couple of lean vintages, we were happy to find a cellar full of wine when we made our annual visit to taste back in February, however none of the barrels had finished fermentation and Julie was unsure what path they’d take.
Instead of bottling in the springtime as she usually does, Julie waited for the yeasts to go to work on the last of the sugars and assembled the wines once they were dry at the beginning of August. Her patience has been rewarded with this collection of beautiful, generous and complex wines that truly speak of time and place. While wonderfully expressive already, they will reward those who wait.
We have just received the following wines.
JULIE BALAGNY B…j.l..s 2018
From a hectare of seventy year old vines planted over sandy slopes next to Julienas that usually produces her Beaujolais-Villages. As always this is the most open and inviting of these wines, full of youthful exuberance, with beautiful aromatics and plenty of gorgeous fruit wrapped around its mineral core.
JULIE BALAGNY Docteur Buchaille 2018
A remarkable wine from a vineyard over one hundred years old in Moulin-a-Vent. It is one of the highest in the appellation, at a similar altitude to Fleurie and likewise its soils of decomposed pink granite and quartz mirror its neighbour, rather than the heavier soils we expect to find in Moulin. As such this is a wine that in both style and spirit is closer to a great Fleurie. A Gamay of great power, concentration and finesse.
JULIE BALAGNY Cayenne 2018
From Julie’s secluded three hectares of vines planted on a steep slope amongst woodlands, high in the hills of Fleurie. Here the oldest vines are ninety years of age and Cayenne is from fruit grown over basalt and the black, volcanic soils have a marked effect on this wine, producing a lithe, delicate and fragrant Gamay.
JULIE BALAGNY En Remont 2018
The second wine Julie produces from her three hectares high in the hills of Fleurie. Again the oldest plants reach ninety years of age, though here the terroir is a mix of pink granite and quartz. This is the most compact and elegant of these releases, its slight frame holding layers of fruit, flowers and minerals that reveal themselves slowly across each and every sip.