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 La Rochelle, an elevated, close-planted (10,000 vines per hectare) vineyard at 280m with plantings dating back to the 1950s and earlier.
Yield is limited to 20hl/ha. Hand-harvested grapes are destemmed and cold-soaked for three weeks before fermentation. 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 (50% of it new) for 12 months. Annual production is less than 500 dozen and the wine is recognised for its depth, complexity and longevity.
The 2015 Moulin-a-Vent la Rochelle comes from 85-year-old vines that were cropped at just 20 hectoliters per hectare, and 65% is aged in 50% new oak (Alliers and Vosges) for 12 months. It has a complex bouquet -- a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of cold stone and violet. The palate is well balanced with supple redcurrant, cranberry and hoisin notes, fanning out with a structured, salted licorice-tinged finish that leaves the mouth tingling... a lovely wine...
91 points, Wine Advocate, September 2017
Bright violet. Heady cherry, blue fruit and vanilla aromas show very good energy and a spicy accent that gains strength with air. Juicy and concentrated on the palate, offering powerful boysenberry and bitter cherry flavours and a sweetening touch of candied flowers. Closes supple, spicy and very long; youthful tannins frame the energetic dark fruit.
92 points, Vinous, December 2017
Intense aromas of blackberries, orange peel, and tile with hints of white peppers, all of which follows through to a medium body. Firm, silky tannins and a powerful finish. Shows structure and depth. Drink now or in two or three years. One to keep in the cellar.
93 points, jamessuckling.com, February 2018
This comes from a single vineyard facing southeast across the Saône Valley. Ripe tannins and great concentration are balanced by opulent, spicy fruit and wonderful richness. The wine is just approaching maturity and will benefit from further aging.
94 points, Wine Enthusiast (March 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.