Les Bertrand, with Yann Bertrand

Beaujolais, Part 3

Website: www.les-bertrand.com

yann bertrand
Yann Bertrand 

The young, big-haired Yann Bertrand works with his parents Guy and Annick in Fleurie. He grew up here but never intended to follow wine, leaving home to travel round the alps, where he ended up working in wine bars and cavistes. It was here he discovered that there's another side to Beaujolais: the wine geek angle.

Yann returned to Beaujolais and got to know the likes of Foillard and Metras, who became his inspiration, and he began working with his parents in 2012. They were farming organically (they'd moved in this direction after taking over the domaine in 1992), but previously had sold juice to negociants. Yann began farming 1 hectare using biodynamic principles, and also began making wine. He now makes the wines of the domaine, working sensitively and naturally. He's already made quite a name for himself.

 

The family holdings are 6.5 hectares in Fleurie, 1.2 ha in Morgon, and less than 1 hectare in Beaujolais. We tasted through some barrels, then had a look at the bottled wines.

The grapes come into the winery, spend a night in a cold store, and then are fermented using 100% carbonic maceration in large concrete tanks. They stay there 25 days and then they go to small oak for 7-10 months. One of Yann's things is using old barrels that have previously been used with other grape varieties.

Barrel samples:

Fleurie 2017 This is a blend of old vines 60-100 years old from sandy soils. Supple and bright with juicy red cherry fruit. But there's a faint hint of rot here that I hope will disappear. This was also present in a second barrel of this wine.

Fleurie Cuvee de Chaos 2017 Biodynamic plots 50 and 40 years old. Supple and bright with cherries, spice. Juicy and focused with nice brightness. 90-91/100

Morgon 2017 Biodynamic, 1 hectare, with some schist but mostly granitic soils. Fresh and juicy with vibrant cherry and berry fruit. Really supple with good acidity. Really focused with nice richness. 90-92/100

Julienas 2017 Like many in 2017 the hail meant that Bertrand had to buy some grapes. This is from clay, schist and sandstone soils. Vivid, rich and a bit sappy. Lovely weight here with rounded fruit and nice spicy framing. Has a slight rusticity. 89-91/100

Saint-Amour 2017 Negociant wine, again. From the schist soils at the top of the appellation. Juicy, meaty, lively and bright with dense, vivid raspberry fruit. Has some richness. 89-91/100

Beaujolais 2017 Yann's own plot which he's been working for 3 years with very old vines, 40, 60 and 80 years old. 11000 plants/hectare. Granite subsoil with clay/granite on top. Intense and vivid with lively, spicy, slightly meaty edge to the fruit. Has density and focus with nice purity. 91-93/100

The we tried a Piquette. This is an old drink made by reusing the skins, with a bit of sugar added. Wines like this would have been typical for the workers back in the 1950s, and it's only 6% alcohol, and a bit grippy, and really quite nice! A future for piquette?

Then some bottled wines.

Les Bertrand Pure Oh! Rigine 2016 Beaujolais, France
This is named after Jules Chauvet's first ever natural wine, and has no added sulfites. Very supple, fresh and elegant. Drinkable and juicy with red cherries, plums and fine spices. Natural and lively, and very Metras in style. 92/100

Les Bertrand Julienas Pur Ju… 2016 Beaujolais, France
Negociant wine, because of frost losses. 12.5% alcohol. There's some depth here. It's very fine and fresh with a bit of grippy structure and some warmth. Nice focus with good acidity. Has a nice depth of red cherry and raspberry fruit, with a slight rusticity, but this fades with time. 92/100

Les Bertrand Fleurie Phénix 2016 Beaujolais, France
Negociant. From the top of Fleurie, with rocky granitic soils, not sand. Very fine grained with raspberries and cherries, and a supple structure. Has brightness. Nice fruit with good precision and nice acidty. An elegant style with great poise. 93/100

Les Bertrand Morgon Bio Dynamite 2015 Beaujolais, France
13.5% alcohol. Powerful, intense and structured with lots of weight, but not too much tannin. There's rounded, spicy black cherry and blackberry fruit. Very stylish with good tannic structure. Grippy and focused. 93/100

 

See also:

Part 1, Yvon Metras
Part 2, Pierre Cotton
Part 3, Yann Bertrand

Wines tasted 04/18  
Find these wines with
wine-searcher.com

 

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