• 2018 Dutraive Fleurie:  Cuvée Champagne, Le Clos V.V. & More!

    2018 Dutraive Fleurie: Cuvée Champagne, Le Clos V.V. & More!

    2018 in Beaujolais marks a much-needed return for growers to good yields and very high quality with a dry harvest. The last couple vintages have not been kind for vignerons in each of these areas. Massive amounts of spring rain actually proved a blessing as July and August heatwaves came next, meaning reserves of accumulated ground water was more than sufficient during through this stretch. 2018 is a ripe vintage for sure, but as compared to the bombastic 2015's, the alcohol is lower, acidity higher, and freshness a big part of the finished product.

    Today, I'm happy to turn to Jean-Louis Dutraive's top range from Fleurie. Yields may be improved, but alas, this is Dutraive. Demand always outweighs supplies.

    As compared to other titans of Cru Beaujolais, Foillard and Lapierre, I find Dutraive's often lighter in color, with a more concentrated, lifted spice, and a more wild natural element that stands out from the pack due to his lower sulphur protocol. Waiting several years after release to get into top cuvées has been a big goal of mine, as the rare aged Dutraive is pure magic when fruit begins to fall more to the background and exotic spices become more prominent.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen