Guy Breton, Gamay "Cuvée Léa" Chiroubles, Beaujolais, France 2019
Chiroubles is often described as being the most "Beaujolais-like" of the 10 cru wines. It is one of the smallest of the 10 Beaujolais crus, with vineyards on high-altitude slopes. There is a strong diurnal temperature shift here, leading to grapes that are well-cooled at night and as a result producing lighter, less-concentrated wine, often with a pronounced floral character.
The Gamay for this bottling is sourced from the Javernand lieu-dit. It is named “Cuvée Léa” in 2019 after Guy's granddaughter. It is perfumed and silky, and such a pleasure to drink that it vanishes quickly. Floral and succulent, bursting with notes of little red berries, but also delicate and light on its feet. It serves as a phenomenal counterpoint to some of the more structured Gamays coming out of the region.
This cru is blessed with high-altitude, steep, decomposed granite slopes and a lot of old vines that are very difficult to work. If you are willing to put in the elbow grease—which fewer and fewer seem prepared to do—the results can be mesmerizing. The crunchy, lip-smacking berry fruit of this beauty are simply delicious, as all proper Beaujolais should be.