Gourmet Fare

A Gourmet Gazette Fine Wine Find: Being Beaujolais

Franck Chavy, the fourth generation of the family at the helm of the wine estate Domaine Franck Chavy. Photo ©EPerrin, Courtesy Domaine Franck Chavy. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Franck Chavy offered a powerful introduction into the wines of the Beaujolais region, unforgettable wines like Morgon, Régnié and the marvel that is white Beaujolais. The fourth generation of the family at the helm of the estate, he opts for a long maceration period — when the tannins and flavors of the grape are leached from the grape skins into a must — a long maceration period that is for the estate just that, a must.

The Granites d’Or Chardonnay Beaujolais Village White 2020 from the estate of Franck Chavy. Photo Courtesy Domaine Franck Chavy. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

« We macerate for 18 to 20 days in the vats. This allows us to go beyond the primary and the ferments of the early stages of vatting to seek out tannins that are much more powerful and refined that are found in the heart of the skins and the seeds, » explains Franck Chavy, “It is these tannins that are going to bring in the volume, the roundness and the potential for aging. » The wines are then aged in casks without added sulfites. Here some of the vine plants, which evolve in soil that is predominately granitic, are 110 to 120 years old and are harvested by hand.

Granites Roses 2019 Morgan from the estate of Franck Chavy. Photo Courtesy Domaine Franck Chavy. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Franck Chavy cultivates 10 hectares (close to 25 acres) of vineyards in the appellations (designated origins) of Régnié, Brouilly and Morgon, as well as Beaujolais Villages white and rosé. The Beaujolais Village White 2020 was a refreshing, powerful yet clear tasting wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Dubbed the Granites d’Or Chardonnay, the wine was perfectly balanced even though white Beaujolais is more fragile, explained Mr. Chavy during a tasting.

The Julmary 2019 Brouilly from the estate of Franck Chavy. Photo Courtesy Domaine Franck Chavy. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

But it was primarily onto the reds thereafter with the Julmary 2019 Brouilly 2019 being completely round approaching a liqueur robe or color. While the Granites Roses 2019 Morgan, which comes from an iron rich fine parcel of the good earth, was a full-bodied red easily paired with meat dishes in thick sauces. The Gamay Noir 2019 was a rich affair offering very complex aromas. But the real show stealers of the tasting were the three wines without added sulfites enabling all of the natural aromas of the grapes to come forth into the tasting experience. All were 2020 vintages ranging from the delightful Régnié to the refreshing Brouilly and Morgon which could even be served as an aperitif. It should come as no surprise that the estate’s Morgon 2017 aged in oak casks was awarded in January of 2019 the trophy of the Best Gamay in the World at the International Gamay Competition.

The Régnié 2020 without sulfites from the estate of Franck Chavy. Photo Courtesy Domaine Franck Chavy. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The estate welcomes visitors with tastings and introductions to oenology all on the agenda and is located in a highly scenic part of the Beaujolais region. Appointments are highly recommended.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
https://www.domainefranckchavy.fr/
Domaine Franck Chavy
200 route de Lachat69430 Régnié-Durette
00 33 6 07 16 18 85

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