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.
The 2015 Moulin A Vent Croix des Verillats comes from granitic soils known as 'gorrhe' that are rich in manganese. The fruit is 75% de-stemmed and 65% is aged in oak for 12 months, 20% new wood. It has an elegant bouquet with red cherries, wild strawberry and crushed violet aromas. The palate is well balanced with supple tannin, crisp acidity and a lithe, almost citrus fresh finish. The new oak is deftly used here, lending a sheen to the wine without encroaching upon its mineralité or terroir expression. Superb.
92 points, Wine Advocate, September 2017
Deep ruby-red. Expansive blackberry, cherry and incense qualities on the nose; smoky mineral and potpourri nuances gain strength with aeration. Juicy and impressively concentrated, offering sappy dark berry liqueur, spicecake and violet pastille flavours that show excellent delineation and minerally lift. Shows the heft of the vintage but comes off surprisingly graceful and finishes sweet and long, featuring building spiciness and fine-grained tannins that come in late.
93 points, Vinous, December 2017
The dark berries and lemon zest are very important here. There are also some dried meat and bark undertones. Full body, tight tannins with lots of ripe fruit and a warm finish. A big wine with a backbone that gives it form and focus. Drink now.
92 points, jamessuckling.com, February 2018
“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.