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.
Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. A highly complex bouquet evokes an array of red/blue fruits, flowers and spices, along with hints of vanilla, mocha and licorice. Stains the palate with sweet boysenberry, candied plum and violet pastille flavors that are underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. Delivers a suave blend of power and finesse and shows no rough edges. Closes on a smoky note, with steadily building tannins, a touch of bitter cherry and impressive tenacity.
93 points, Vinous (October 2019)
A modern style, with rich touches to the black cherry compote and raspberry reduction notes, underpinned by hints of licorice, rose petal and smoke. Offers an elegant finish, where polished tannins encase tea and mineral details.
92 points, Gillian Sciaretta, Wine Spectator (November 2019)
One of the single-vineyard wines from this producer, this wine delivers structure and intensity. Just now mature, its smoky fruits and ripe tannins are beautifully integrated. The wine could age further, but is totally ready now.
94 points, Wine Enthusiast (April 2020)
Rounded and ripe forest fruits, plums and sweet raspberry. Soft and unctuous on the palate with fleshy red fruit. Long, savoury finish.
93 points, Wine's of the Year Tasting (October 2020)
From a single lieu-dit. Sandy on top, then clay. Deeper soils. Aged 67% in tank and 33% barrel (not new).
Greyish crimson. Peppery freshness and elegance. The oak much less marked than on the Champs de Cour. Peppery freshness. Really delicate and refined dark rocky fruit. Long, fresh, dry finish. Scented in a lovely dry, dark way.
17 points, JancisRobinson.com (July 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.