Cru Beaujolais in many ways has been a cornerstone of our selection from the start. While Foillard, Métras, Lapierre, and Dutraive represent the foundation for the greatest value reds in France, the younger generation is now clearly making its mark. No producer has garnered the same praise (and limited allocations) anywhere close to that of Yann Bertrand. Yann may be separated from the aforementioned because of age, but when you line up his wines it's crystal clear these are masterful interpretations of terroir.
Yann grew up in Fleurie, but after studying commerce in school and traveling through the Alps he never expected to circle back to become its generation's brightest talent. He found himself working in a wine shop, and surrounded by passionate people the flames of curiosity were stoked. He moved to spent time working under perhaps the most revered names of the region, Yvon Métras and Jean Foillard. Like them, Yann knew that organic farming and traditional methods in the cellar would be his path forward.
Yann's family had purchased vineyards in 1992 slowly converting them to organic. And in 2013 Yann took a more active role leading the domaine. He began applying what he had soaked up from these apprenticeships. Similarly, Yann's style is one of elegance, silken texture, and is laser-focused on expressing each unique terroir in the Famille Bertrand stable.
Phénix is a brand new bottling from Yann coming from Fleurie's most prized sites: Poncié, La Madone, and Les Déduits. The higher altitude parcels are comprised of sandy granite, while lower slopes are sandy clay with pink granite. These finer soils contribute to Fleurie's reputation as the Queen of Beaujolais, but ultimately its the magic touch of Bertrand that renders Gamay at its most suave and seductive.
2016 in Beaujolais saw yields greatly reduced, but the little that was made has shown to be exceptional. The vintage is build on brightness of fruit, clarity, and great concentration thanks to these minuscule yields. Yann's wines never last long on the shelf and 2016 should prove to be even more challenging to keep in stock. I got out ahead of this one securing 750ml and magnum bottles immediately. Phénix arrives today and it is not to be missed!
2016 Yann Bertrand Fleurie Phénix
$33 per bottle.
2016 Yann Bertrand Fleurie Phénix 1.5L
$69 per bottle.