After a tip-off from a couple of our favourite Beaujolais producers, we went to see Victor back in 2018. Victor took over his vineyards in 2013, his cousin comes from a long line of growers and he was given the opportunity, despite little experience in the field (he has a doctorate in pharmacy). He started to forge his own path though, turning the vineyards to organics, certification coming in 2018 and in the same year he stopped adding sulfites altogether. Since he started he has been more and more inspired by the burgeoning movement in Beaujolais of winemakers working naturally.
We took a ride to the vineyards in an old red beetle that Victor had restored. He has a similar talent for restoration in the vineyard. Extremely fastidious and hard-working,he uses natural grassing, all the parcels benefit from a varied fauna and flora that guarantee a biological balance of the soil. Such an environment, rich in microorganisms, offers a vigorous natural defense of the vines.
He now has five hectares on three main terroirs with some vines almost 100 years old. Gamay planted in the traditional goblet fashion and a tiny, prized parcel of Chardonnay, from which he makes his atypical Beaujolais Blanc.
When we visited it was clear to see the potential and of this project and we are delighted to finally get some of his wines in the UK. Victors rigorous approach extends to the cellar, a soft touch, the wines are pure of fruit, bright and bursting with energy.
The Gamay vines for his Jonchere cuvee are on granite and sandy soils that planted in the traditional goblet style. Granite soils always seem to bring a clarity to wines made from the grape and it's no different in the appealingly fresh and aromatic 2019. Clocking in at 10% it has a pleasing bitterness and elegance that goes beyond the glou.
I was quite taken by Victor's Chardonnay on our trip, still a rarity in the region. very vivid fruit , barrel fermented so quite opulent. in 2019 elevage was in steel giving a little more tension to the fruit. It has a satisfying spritz on opening with a lovely mix of salinity and citrus and opens up nicely over a couple of hours.