Raphael Champier and Cristelle Lucca have been making wine together since 2011. They recently moved into their new, old cellar near Villié-Morgon. Still a work in progress when I visited in April, once they get it all put together, they will have a more than adequate set up, even if it is a bit of a drive from where they find their current concentration of vineyards.
Today they have around seven hectares on the southern end of Beaujolais in the Cru appellations of Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly, and Beaujolais-Villages holdings near St.-Etienne-des-Ouillieres. They own all but two hectares, which they work under a metayage arrangement. Their oldest parcel on the steep slopes of Cote de Brouilly sports vines over 90 years old. They sit on the top third of this parcel and the lower two thirds are in the 60-80 year old range. It is this fruit that makes its way into two of their cuvees, the Mont Bruilius Cote de Brouilly, which is entirely aged in stainless steel vat and our current offering, the Cote de Brouilly No. 2, which is aged approximately 12 months in neutral oak barrels.
Every aspect of Raphael and Cristelle’s work is done organically, and they are moving towards a full biodynamic approach. Harvests on the earlier side, especially in this warmer, southern end of the region, help them maintain healthy acid structure to go along with rich, ripe fruit. It also ensures that their wines stay in check on the alcohol front. Even in the warmer 2015 vintage their wines were comfortably in the 13% range, ensuring that these wines are not meals unto themselves but rather fine accompaniments to a wide variety of cuisines.
We are really pleased to bring Leonis into the family alongside our good friend Clotaire Michal. A duo of Beaujolais producers that add to the beauty and quality coming from Beaujolais today. You don’t want to miss these!