Jean-Claude Lapalu's 100% Gamay wines stand out from the usual suspects' style largely because of his early influences. Although he idolized Jules Chauvet like all natural-minded Beaujolais producers, the wines that initially pulled him in were those such as Domaine Gramenon in Southern France.

In many ways, the domaine's positioning at the southern "Gateway to the Crus" harnesses the warmth and spirit endowed from the Rhone and Provence. Lapalu's entire range highlights those tell-tale Southern Cru Beaujolais lavender accents along with ripe cherry, plum, and an iron-inflected mineral finish.

Extraction through carbonic and semi-carbonic fermentation is kept modest. Aging vessels here range from glass-lined tanks to concrete, used barrique, and tonneaux. And sulfur is used very sparingly, often only in small amounts at bottling. These ultra-limited production cuvées may be difficult to source, but the pricing delivers a welcomed relief given their stellar quality!

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