Thibault Ducroux

Thibault Ducroux En Roue Libre Beaujolais 2022


En Roue Libre, a French term for freewheeling or neutral gear, honors Thibault's hands-off natural winemaking methods and his love for cycling. Thibault used to race in a club before dedicating himself to full-time winemaking, and the bike remains an enormous weekend pleasure for him. The grapes used for En Roue Libre are Gamay. The vineyard consists of clay-silt soil, and the vines have an average age of 40. Thibault himself farms the vineyard organically.

The winemaking process involves hand-harvesting the grapes and traditional whole-bunch carbonic maceration. Spontaneous fermentation occurs, and the wine is aged on fine lees in concrete vats for eight months. There is no fining or filtration, and a maximum of 2ppm of SO2 is added at bottling. The wine has a light, fruity, and crunchy personality. It is best served well chilled with good charcuterie or goat cheese.

Wine Type:, Red
Wine Style:, Light Body
Farming:, Organic
Vintage:, 2022
Alcohol:, 13%
Country:, France
Region:, Beaujolais
Appellation:, Beaujolais Villages
Bottle Size:, 750ml

Food Pairing:

Charcuterie, goat cheese.


Producer profile

Thibault Ducroux

Thibault Ducroux grew up in Beaujolais, learning winemaking in his father's cellar. He studied viticulture and enology locally. Discovering the works of Jules Chauvet, a key figure in the natural wine movement, changed his approach to winemaking.

Thibault's journey took a significant turn when he connected with renowned natural winemakers like Jean Claude Lapalu and Michel Guignier. This encounter, coupled with his earned diploma, led him to work closely with Julien Sunier, where he honed his skills in organic viticulture and natural vinification, a testament to his unwavering dedication to the principles of natural winemaking.

In 2019, Thibault made his first wine from 1.25 hectares in Beaujolais AOC. This wine, En Roue Libre, is a fruity and light Gamay. In 2020, he rented five more hectares in Morgon and Fleurie. These vineyards are farmed organically and await certification.

Thibault uses whole-bunch carbonic maceration with indigenous yeast, adding only a minimal amount of sulfur at bottling. His methods reflect the techniques he learned from his peers in natural winemaking.

Wine region

Beaujolais, France

The Beaujolais wine region, located in the eastern part of France, is an integral part of the Burgundy wine area but maintains a distinct identity due to its unique wine production methods and grape varieties. It stretches from the southern tip of Burgundy to the northern parts of Lyon, encompassing about 55 kilometers from north to south and 25 kilometers from east to west.

Beaujolais is primarily known for its use of the Gamay grape, which is relatively easy to cultivate and ripens early. The region's soils are diverse, with granite predominating in the northern areas and sedimentary rock in the south. This geological variance significantly influences the flavor profile and structure of the wines produced here.

The region is famous for Beaujolais Nouveau, a young wine released annually on the third Thursday of November. This tradition celebrates the end of the harvest. It involves the wine made with the carbonic maceration technique, which emphasizes fresh, fruity flavors without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.

Apart from Beaujolais Nouveau, the region also produces more structured and complex wines, particularly from the ten Crus of Beaujolais, named areas recognized for higher quality. These crus include Brouilly, Morgon, and Moulin-à-Vent, among others. Wines from these areas are capable of aging and evolving complexity over several years.

Beaujolais wine production is divided into three classifications: Beaujolais AOC, for wines typically light and fruity, suitable for immediate consumption; Beaujolais-Villages AOC, coming from 38 designated municipalities and offering slightly higher complexity; and the aforementioned Cru Beaujolais, from the ten specific areas known for their distinctive and more robust wines.

The Beaujolais region produces approximately 70 million liters annually, accounting for nearly half of all Gamay-based wines globally. Wine growing and production here rely heavily on traditional knowledge and practices, with many growers adhering to natural wine production methods. These practices emphasize minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery to preserve the natural expression of the grape and terroir.

Beaujolais wines are celebrated for their versatility in pairing with a wide range of foods, from light salads to hearty meat dishes. This makes them a favorite among various dining contexts, from casual to refined. The region's commitment to quality and tradition, along with its innovative approach to winemaking, continues to attract interest from wine enthusiasts worldwide.

Frequently asked question

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What is natural wine?

What is natural wine?

Natural wine is a type of wine made in small batches from hand-harvested organic or biodynamic grapes with minimal intervention in the cellar.
What is Biodynamics?

What is Biodynamics?

Biodynamic wine is wine made with grapes farmed biodynamically. Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to farming.
What is organic wine?

What is organic wine?

Organic wine is made with grapes farmed organically. Organic farming is a type of farming alternative to conventional farming.
What is vegan wine?

What is vegan wine?

Vegan wine is wine made without using animal products during the fining phase of the clarification process. Before wine is bottled it is usually clarified.