Jean Paul Brun is located in Charnay, a village in the Southern Beaujolais just north of Lyons, in a beautiful area known as the “Region of Golden Stones“. Brun is the owner and winemaker at this 40-acre family estate and has attracted the attention of the French and American press for the wonderfully fruity and delicate wines he produces.
Brun wants to make “old-style” Beaujolais and his vinification differs from the prevailing practices in the region. He believes that the charm of Gamay’s fruit is best expressed by the grapes’ indigenous yeasts, rather than by adding industrial yeast. Virtually all Beaujolais is now made by adding a particular yeast during fermentation.
Known as 71B, this yeast is a laboratory product made in Holland from a tomato base, which imparts wines with banana and candy aromas. It produces a beverage, but with no authenticity and little charm. Brun, on the other hand, wants to make a pure Gamay wine.
Brun’s view is that Beaujolais drinks best at a lower degree of alcohol and that there is no need to systematically add sugar to the must (chaptalize) to reach alcohol levels of 12 to 13 degrees. His Beaujolais is made to be pleasurable – light, fruity and delicious – not an artificially inflated wine that shines at tasting competitions.
Only a minimal amount of S02 is used at bottling to keep the wine fresh and “headache-free”. Fermentation naturally produces a lot of CO2, which acts as protection against oxidation during aging; leaving some in the wine at bottling time also helps to keep it fresh. Filtration is also minimal so that the wine keeps its original fruit and aromas. Brun’s wines are not ‘blockbusters’ in the sense of ‘big.’ The emphasis is not on weight, but on fruit: Beaujolais as it once was and as it should be.
2016 A.O.C Beaujolais Blanc
100% Chardonnay. On his home estate in Charnay in southern Beaujolais, Brun planted Chardonnay in 1983 on the sandy, limestone-rich clay soils. The vines are organically farmed and the fruit harvested by hand. The grapes are destemmed, crushed and fermented with natural yeasts in vat. The wine goes through malolactic fermentation, its lees stirred periodically, and is aged in steel and concrete tank until bottling in the spring after the vintage. Full of citrus, magnolia blossoms & white peaches, this wine is KILLER. As John Gilman wrote:
The 2016 Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun is really terrific, with the precision and undertow of terroir that one expects routinely from Monsieur Brun, but seldom from Beaujolais Blanc. The bouquet is deep, pure and classy, offering up scents of pear, apple, limestone soil, a touch of almond, beeswax and a nice topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is fullbodied, crisp and still fairly tightly-knit, with a fine core, brisk acids and excellent length and grip on the vibrant finish.