Posts Tagged Brouilly



How often have we heard the description ‘modest, quietly spoken and lets the wine do the talking’ only to meet a brash, overly confident winemaker? One of my very best trips ever was to Beaujolais with the late Tomás Clancy in 2016. We spent three or four wonderful days visiting many of the great producers of the region including Jean-Paul Brun. I had been enjoying the wines for years, so it was a pleasure to meet him, all the more so because he was genuinely modest and let us taste the wines in peace, only answering questions when asked, having given us a brief introduction to his domaine. Even the signage (see above) was modest. The wines then and now are wonderful, always light in alcohol, pure in fruit and full of character. At a recent Wines Direct tasting, I tasted five of his wines, each one a charmer. All are available exclusively from and their shop in Mullingar.

Beaujolais Blanc 2021 Domaines des Terres Dorées, Jean-Paul Brun
Delightful lively Chardonnay with lightly textured orange peel and green apples. €23.35

Roussanne Blanc Jean-Paul Brun Vin de France 2021
Made from vines planted in the Beaujolais region. Creamy, with a seductive rich texture and apricot fruits. Very moreish. Organic. €24.75

Côtes de Brouilly 2021 Domaine des Terres Dorées, Jean-Paul Brun
Textbook Beaujolais; fresh slightly grippy zippy red cherry fruits, good acidity and a supple finish. It has a wonderful diaphanous quality. An unputdownable vine de soif. Organic. €26

Moulin-à-Vent Domaine des Terres Dorées 2021, Jean-Paul Brun
Wow! An amazing concentration of slightly savoury refreshing juicy dark fruits. Seemingly light, but it has genuine structure that calls out for little ageing. Lovely wine. €29.25

Morgon Côte de Puy 2021 Domaine des Terres Dorées, Jean-Paul Brun
Another stunner. Restrained, elegant yet concentrated with a lovely mineral backbone and slightly chewy tannins. Gorgeous now but will certainly keep and improve. Organic. €32.70

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Time for a drink of ‘liquid summer’ : Beaujolais

Most wine lovers have a lightbulb moment, when they suddenly realise that wine is not simply a very pleasant sociable alcoholic beverage that goes brilliantly with food (although it certainly is all that), but the most complex and wonderful drink known to man. One of my several “wine moments” (I am a slow learner) was a glass of Beaujolais. It was one of the best names, a Moulin-à-Vent, and despite being served in one of those horrible Paris goblets, which are completely unsuitable for wine, it was fragrant and gorgeous, brimming with seductive bright fruits. As a pretentious student I was hooked and ever since that encounter, I return to my first love as often as I can.

 Beaujolais has been through a rough period but with the increasing demand for light, lower alcohol wines, it is enjoying a welcome revival. This is one of the most appetising and reviving wines of all. As soon as spring arrives, I regularly spoil myself with a glass of Beaujolais or Beaujolais Villages from a good producer. Frivolous and full of juicy bouncy fruit, it is liquid summer. Serve cool with salady things, pork, or simply on its own.

Established hierarchy

As with many French regions, there is an established hierarchy. Beaujolais Villages is superior to basic Beaujolais, but at the very top of the tree are 10 “crus” or villages, each entitled to use its own name. All are in the north of the region, and taste tantalisingly different depending on the soil, usually varying forms of granite. The most serious of these wines are worthy of genuine respect. I have stashed away a number of wines from the most structured of the crus including Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent and Fleurie; after a few years, they reveal a new and wonderful depth. I tasted eight vintages of Jadot Ch des Jacques Moulin-à-Vent and Morgon going back to 1996 at a trade tasting late last year. All were in very good condition. I also drank a perfectly-formed 2008 Moulin-à-Vent from Domaine du Vissoux more recently. Now that so many of the well-known fine wines are moving steadily out of our price-range, these are well-worth bearing in mind. The best certainly qualify as fine wines.

More immediately, a glass of youthful Côte de Brouilly, Chénas or any other of the crus will both slake the thirst and revive the vital functions. Most of the mass-produced versions are not great, although even here I note an improvement in quality. But Beaujolais is full of fantastic small producers; a bottle from Domaine du Vissoux (Terroirs), Jean-Paul Brun (Wines Direct), La Madone (Mitchell & Son) or Foillard (Independents) is one of life’s most welcome treats.

Fleurie Tradition 2015, Côte de Brouilly 2015, Moulin-à-Vent 2013 and Fleurie 2014 Terre de Granit Rose 2014
Fleurie Tradition 2015, Côte de Brouilly 2015, Moulin-à-Vent 2013 and Fleurie 2014 Terre de Granit Rose 2014


Fleurie Tradition 2015, Domaine de la Madone
13%, €17
A delightfully fresh and fruity wine from one of the top estates in Fleurie.
Stockists: Mitchell & Son, IFSC, Sandycove, Avoca, Kilmacanogue.

Côte de Brouilly 2015, Jean-Paul Brun
12.5%, €21.85
An exquisite wine, with refined cherry fruits, hints of strawberry and a refreshing moreish character.
Stockists: Wines Direct

 Moulin-à-Vent 2013, Ch des Jacques, Louis Jadot
13%, €24.99
Solid medium-bodied blackberries with a good tannic structure. Drink or keep a decade or more.
Stockists: Ballyvaughan Stores; Jus de Vine; Mitchell & Son; Redmonds; Sweeney’s.

Bargain bin: Fleurie 2014 Terre de Granit Rose 2014, Thorin
13%, €14.99
Pleasantly plump dark fruits with a smooth rounded finish.
Stockists: Selected Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis

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