Rémi & Laurence DUFAITRE, Domaine de Botheland
Saint-Étienne-des-Oullières Organic, Natural
Rémi is a member of the informal group that has evolved from Kermit Lynch’s “gang of four,” the producers in Morgon who studied with natural-wine-pioneer Jules Chauvet (winemaker and biologist) and make natural wine (Foillard among them). This group has grown to include younger winemakers like Rémi, who are working with the same philosophy.
Rémi makes wines in a classic carbonic style, using whole bunches, which are carefully sorted to avoid broken grapes or rot. He adds some carbon dioxide gas to protect the grapes at the beginning of fermentation, and does not use any temperature control. He avoids foot stomping the grapes unless he sees some volatile starting to creep in. His goal is to have as little juice in the tank as possible. He also performs routine analysis to see how the yeast is performing. Remi makes all his wines with the same method, thus we can really see and taste the differences between the sites, with minor differences in the elevage of each cuvée. He tastes each cuvée before bottling, and may decide to add between zero and 2 mg of sulfur, depending on how stable he judges the wine to be.
The Prémices comes from a parcel of Beaujolais-Villages, the vines are between 50-70 years old. Grapes are fermented and aged in concrete tanks, with a very short maceration. This is an easy drinking light style of wine. The flower bud on the label represents that this wine is the first flowery taste of the new vintage. It is easy drinking and lighter than Remi’s Brouilly and Cotes de Brouilly, but it is anything but a simple wine. The lightness and elegance of this wine is balanced with a healthy dose of minerality and complexity that make this one for serious gamay drinkers.