Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorees Chardonnay Classic 2013: A Beaujolais Blanc

As much as I like to buy my wine locally it is always a pleasure to visit my favourite boutique wine shop in Cochrane. If I were to ever start a wine store it would be very similar to the Vinestone Wine Co. They carry around 100 wines arranged from bold to light (rather than by region) on the shelves, all hand picked by the owner. I was short on time my last visit so asked the staff for a suggestion. I wanted a Chardonnay and they pointed me to this.

Beaujolais is a small southern area of the larger region of Burgundy in France. While being part of the famous Burgundy region (more for administration purposes) it shares very little in common. The grapes used in Beaujolais are completely different as well as the wine making techniques. Beaujolais white wines are quite rare as most wineries go for the more popular Beaujolais red wine made with Gamay grapes.

Jean-Paul Brun is a small estate owner producing his wine in a much different fashion than others in the region. Most Beaujolais producers use a winemaking process called carbonic maceration. This is a fancy term for fermenting grapes while they are still whole, prior to crushing. Brun has chosen a more traditional Burgundian method of crushing the grapes first. On top of this he farms organically, hand picks and de-stems, and ferments only using natural yeasts for longer. He feels this gives his wines better structure, longer aging capabilities, and makes them more interesting than those around him.

Look: This wine is brilliant pale straw yellow in colour and quite clear. It is not as deep yellow as some Chardonnay from warmer regions. It has moderately light legs but sits on the edges of the glass a long time.

Smell: The wine has a strong aroma of slightly sweet apples and pear with hints of citrus. It also has a certain nuttiness to it along with some flower aromas. Simple and elegant.

Taste: This wine tastes more tart than it smells with apples and lemon peel. It is medium bodied with really sharp acidity that hits the sides of the tongue. To go with this tartness is an agreeable light minerally taste (no surprise as Brun’s grapes are grown in limestone coil). The finish is not drawn out but has pleasant flavours of chalky mineral, more bitter citrus peel, as well as some nuttiness.

Conclusion: We are big fans of Chardonnay around here. In fact a few  years ago we decided to go on a Chardonnay kick and by the end sampled more than 40 bottles. I came to the realization that most were the same and quite typical. Since then I’ve enjoyed finding bottles that are different in some way and this one is definitely different. Leaning more towards the Old World style it isn’t quite as fruit forward and bold as some from warmer climates. This would pair wonderfully with a creamy dish. Because I find this wine out of the ordinary and very drinkable it is a 9.0/10, very good. I look forward to having this again and might talk to my local wine shop about bringing it in!

  • Chardonnay
  • Beaujolais, France
  • 2013 – 13% ABV
  • Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorees
  • $23 at Vinestone Wine Company
  • Composite plastic cork

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