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The name "FRV100" is a play on the word “effervescent”--which becomes more apparent when you sound out the letters and number in French--and is indicative of the playfulness of this off-dry, sparkling rosé. From organically farmed estate Gamay on limestone clay soils in the southern Beaujolais around jean-Paul's home village of Charnay, it is made by the méthode ancestrale: the hand-harvested fruit is destemmed and fermented in vat until it reaches around 6% alcohol. It is then lightly filtered and bottled and finishes fermenting with indigenous yeasts in the bottle. The result is a light-bodied, gently sparkling, gently sweet, low-ABV vin de soif, reminiscent of a Cerdon de Bugey. The vintage never appears on the label (there is no allowance for sparkling Gamay in Beaujolais) but it is always a single-vintage wine.
Jean Paul Brun is located in Charnay, a village in the Southern Beaujolais just north of Lyons, in a beautiful area known as the "Region of Golden Stones". Brun is the owner and winemaker at this 40-acre family estate and has attracted the attention of the French and American press for the wonderfully fruity and delicate wines he produces.
Brun wants to make "old-style" Beaujolais and his vinification differs from the prevailing practices in the region. He believes that the charm of Gamay's fruit is best expressed by the grapes' indigenous yeasts, rather than by adding industrial yeast. Virtually all Beaujolais is now made by adding a particular yeast during fermentation.
Known as 71B, this yeast is a laboratory product made in Holland from a tomato base, which imparts wines with banana and candy aromas. It produces a beverage, but with no authenticity and little charm. Brun, on the other hand, wants to make a pure Gamay wine.
Brun's view is that Beaujolais drinks best at a lower degree of alcohol and that there is no need to systematically add sugar to the must (chaptalize) to reach alcohol levels of 12 to 13 degrees. His Beaujolais is made to be pleasurable - light, fruity and delicious - not an artificially inflated wine that shines at tasting competitions.
Only a minimal amount of S02 is used at bottling to keep the wine fresh and "headache-free". Fermentation naturally produces a lot of CO2, which acts as protection against oxidation during aging; leaving some in the wine at bottling time also helps to keep it fresh. Filtration is also minimal so that the wine keeps its original fruit and aromas. Brun’s wines are not ‘blockbusters’ in the sense of ‘big.’ The emphasis is not on weight, but on fruit: Beaujolais as it once was and as it should be.
Denny & Katie
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop and tiny bar, focused on small production wines and conservas. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
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