Jean-Paul Brun started Terres Dorées in 1979 with a mere 4 hectares of vines in Charnay in the southern Beaujolais, an area which is slightly warmer and more limestone-driven versus the more renowned granite-rich cru villages in the northern Beaujolais. Today, the Charnay estate is around 30 acres, but with an additional 15 hectares farmed in the crus. The farming in Charnay is organic and includes working of the soils; the cru parcels are farmed sustainably and the soils are not worked. Harvest is by hand and of well-ripened but not over-ripened fruit, so alcohol levels are generally modest. Annual Terres Dorées production is around 350,000 bottles, 85-90% of it from estate fruit with the rest of it sourced.
Jean-Paul is not an adherent or advocate of “natural wine” per se, yet is among the most natural of Beaujolais vignerons, uninterested in trend or fashion but deeply committed to purity of expression of fruit and site. The individuality of those expressions–the fact that each is a different wine from all of the others–is intentionally emphasized by hiss choice to label every one of his many bottlings with a completely different label.
Brun’s Moulin-à-Vent La Rochelle unwinds in the glass with scents of red berry compote, licorice, sweet soil tones and spices. Medium to full-bodied, layered and compact, with fine depth and plenty of sweet, powdery tannin.