The Wine: L'Expedition Beaujolais 2021
Clotaire Michal L'Expedition Beaujolais is a red natural wine made from 100% Gamay grapes farmed organically; semi-carbonic maceration in a closed tank for less than two weeks, bottled unfined, unfiltered, no added sulfites. Fruit forward and bright, this is a glou glou Beaujolais but not without some structure, a signature of Clotaire Michal.
The Producer: Clotaire Michal
Clotaire is part of the new generation of the natural and organic Beaujolais wine scene. Former sommelier student, Clotaire had his first experience in the vineyard in 2003 at Clos Marie (Languedoc) where he worked for five years. He then moved to Rhône Valley to increase his knowledge by working alongside Thierry Allemand in Cornas. This lone wolf settled in Beaujolais in 2014 and is now dealing with 4.5 hectares on his own. He's producing 2 main cuvées of Beaujolais Village as well as a confidential small cuvée of a selection of the best berries aged for 3 years (first vintage 2016). Soils are plowed only once in winter and then grass is manually managed during the season. Yields are kept low, at around 30 hectolitres/hectare. The grapes are vinified in whole-cluster, go for a 12-day maceration and ferment with indigenous yeasts before being pressed.
The Region: Beaujolais
The Beaujolais wine region is located south of Burgundy. It stretches for about 50km from the town of Mâcon and its characteristic rolling hills to the flatlands bordering the regional capital and world-renown culinary center Lyon on the north.
Beaujolais wine region is split in two by the Nizerand River. The north of the river is where we find the Crus and Beaujolais Villages, whereas south of the river is where Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau are made.
Gamay is the dominant grape varietal of the region giving its best when grown on the granite and sandy clay soils north of the Nizerand River and made into Beaujolais Crus and Beaujolais Villages easy-drinking delicious wines.
There are ten Beaujolais Crus where the best Beaujolais are made: Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnie, and Saint-Amour.