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Stephane Aviron Beaujolais Villages 2015
Nicholas Potel and Stéphane Aviron have adopted an almost radical return to tradition; sustainable viticulture, extremely old vines and classic Burgundian techniques. Their Beaujolais drink like fine Burgundy.
Historically considered “poor man’s Burgundy,” a modern movement toward fruity, simple, quaffing wines boosted sales but eroded the region’s traditional quality. Potel-Aviron has reversed the trend. By focusing on the Beaujolais village crus, the best sites for unique, expressive wines, and finding old parcels of vines, Potel-Aviron creates very expressive, age-worthy wines relying on traditional and new methods, including organic and biodynamic vineyard management. All wines are labeled “Vieilles Vignes,” old vines, because the vines are at least 40 years-old. Potel-Aviron’s wines are authentic in every way. This is true Beaujolais.
Erobertparker.com on Potel-Aviron...
Aviron’s 2011 Beaujolais-Villages – sourced from steep slopes in Quincie, which he considers one of the three best villages of this appellation – projects both fresh and distilled red raspberry and cherry along with pit piquancy intimated already in the nose and serving as a delightfully invigorating foil to the wine’s juicy finishing fruit. A lick of salt engages the salivary glands and clinches the issue of whether one has to take the next sip. This fine value and ideal calling card for its appellation should continue to delight through 2014.
I tasted Aviron’s 2011s at his wife Beatrice Despres’s family estate, Domaine de la Madriere, on the high peak of the La Madone hilltop in Fleurie. (Special thanks are due him for both rescuing me from slick fresh snow as well as for maintaining our tasting space and the wines at optimal temperature in an otherwise freezing facility!) Sources of fruit that he does not own or rent – and Potel-Aviron sources changed little over the collaboration’s 11-year history – are largely under his control as regards viticultural regimen, not to mention picking dates. Once again these wines, products of relatively short semi-carbonic fermentation but long elevage (the last not yet bottled when I visited in December), are collectively fine. I continue to harbor slight reservations about the influence (and specific choice) of barriques, but not only is Aviron using fewer and fewer new ones, he is also beginning, with 2011, to mature part of his wine in large-capacity foudres.
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