Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent dates back to 1732 and gave its name to the appellation when it was created in 1936. The estate has 37 hectares of vines across the appellation’s finest terroirs on mostly granitic soils rich in iron oxide, copper and manganese. This is a single-site Gamay from the 4.4ha Croix des Vérillats vineyard, which neighbours La Rochelle and was planted at 10,000 vines per hectare in the 1950s.
Yields are limited to 27hl/ha. Hand-harvested grapes are destemmed and cold-soaked for three weeks before fermentation, including 25% whole bunches. Pumping over and some pigeage (foot-stomping) aid extraction and contribute roundness and finesse. 65% of the wine is aged in medium-toast Allier and Vosges oak barrels (20% new) for 12 months. Annual production is around 900 dozen and the wine is recognised for its combination of elegance, concentration and solid structure.
Opaque ruby. Vibrant, mineral-accented cherry and dark berry scents pick up notes of succulent herbs, Moroccan spices, vanilla and candied flowers with air. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering densely packed black raspberry and cherry-cola flavors that are complemented by five-spice powder and mocha nuances. Closes extremely long and spicy, with resonating dark fruit preserve character and velvety tannins that fade steadily into the wine's juicy fruit. Give this one some patience as the oak is standing out a bit right now.
93 points, Vinous (October 2019)
A brooding style, with steeped cherry and raspberry gelée notes, supported by licorice and floral details that are matched to savory hints of herb and black tea on the structured finish.
90 points, Gillian Sciaretta, Wine Spectator (2019)
This dense, smoothly textured, single-vineyard wine is packed with tannins as well as concentrated blackberry fruits. Its richness, allied to ripeness, comes with a juicy aftertaste.
92 points, Wine Enthusiast (September 2020)
Fragrant and complex, this is a sophisticated Moulin-à-Vent that’s got good structure, as well as well plenty of sour cherries. The touch of tannin at the finish is already well integrated.
90 points, JamesSuckling.com (January 2019)
This is from a 4.4 hectare plot with shallow (25-50 cm) soils composed of granitic sand, over granite bedrock. The vines are 45 years old. This is pure, bright and vivid with lovely sweet, focused berry and cherry fruit. There’s some depth here, with notes of iron and minerals, as well as fresh acidity. There’s a brightness here: there’s some structure, but not too much, and the wine has elegance and transparency, as well as a bit of meaty savouriness. Lovely stuff, with class and precision.
94 points, Wine Anorak (December 2019)
“Today, after a period of being the pariahs of the wine world, they are once again worthy objects of interest for serious wine lovers. This is all due to the magic combination of the Gamay grape and the particular characteristics of the best villages in the region, including the famous ‘crus’ Beaujolais.” Jancis Robinson MW
The most full bodied and powerful wines in Beaujolais, the region can also create the longest-lasting examples. Because of their richness and structure the wine can support the use of oak which adds more tannin and structure to the wines. The term, “Vieillie en fût de chêne', generally indicated this practice… and price point.