2019 Guy Breton Fleurie
Also known as "Petit Max" by his friends, Guy Breton is certainly a name in everyone's ear ever since Kermit Lynch dubbed him, together with Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thévenet and Jean Foillard, as Beaujolais famous "Gang of Four" in the '80s. The essence of their philosophy: take a step back, appreciate and cultivate old vines, apply organic farming practices, avoid the use of sulphur, let natural ferments do their magic and help the terroir express itself through minimal intervention. Following these principals, each of them has ever since proven that Beaujolais is more than just 'Nouveau' and can indeed produce meaningful, complex and wonderful wines.
Breton loves wines that are easy to drink, and his are typically the lightest in color, the lowest in alcohol, and the least tannic of the Gang of Four. He took over his grandfather's domaine in 1986 and is nowadays farming 4 hectares organically, with around 80% being planted in the Morgon appellation. The age of his vines varies, with the oldest 80-year-old vines dedicated to his “Vieilles Vignes” cuvée. After careful selection of grapes in the vineyard, vinification begins with carbonic maceration at low temperatures. Fermentation occurs naturally and lasts usually between 15 and 21 days. Once the process is finished the grapes are pressed in an old wooden press. The wines are then aged in used Burgundian barrels before they are bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Perfumed and deep, flowers meet curry leaf, wet ferns, dark raspberry and cherry of quiet succulence and fine ‘mineral’ feel, but it’s the sweep of smooth velour tannin that brings home the bacon. It’s a wine that feels entirely at ease with itself, and most importantly, is a delight to drink.
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front