From: Beaujolais, France
Taste: Forest fruits meet wild fields and garrigue in a bouquet brimming with red fruits like raspberry, strawberry, and gooseberry. Notes of baking spice, earth, petrichor, and a distinctly stony minerality parallel the fruit on the nose and the palate. Juicy fruits balanced with baking spice and that stony minerality play a central role on the palate, a hint of tobacco flower and black fruit adding more depth. You’ll notice that this wine is rich in flavor and has balanced, silky-smooth tannins. These complementary roles are vital to this gorgeous Saint-Amour’s prowess alongside almost anything on the table or alone as a delicious glass of red. (We suggest serving this wine slightly chilled/cellar temp.)
Pairing: When it comes to pairing this wine, its versatility is astonishing. Sommeliers adore Gamay from Beaujolais for this very reason. The wine complements many dishes, whether it's Korean BBQ, steak frites, pizza, or roast chicken seasoned with Herbs de Provence. And for those leaning toward vegetarian fare, it pairs brilliantly with Spanakopita (shown below), Black Olive Tapenade, or a simple dish of roasted potatoes sprinkled with dill.
By Kay Chun
About. In the heart of Beaujolais lies the historic Domaine des Chers, now firmly in the hands of third-generation winemaker Arnaud Briday. Having spent years between Lyon and Juliénas, Arnaud finally made his homecoming to the family estate in 2014, breathing life into the traditions left behind by his father and grandfather. But this story begins much earlier, in 1956 when Henri Briday formally established Domaine des Chers after generations of informal winemaking by the Briday family.
Henri's introduction to official winemaking was anything but auspicious; the inaugural vintage was met with the region's harshest cold, forcing him to replant much of the vineyard lost to frost. Yet, under these testing circumstances, Henri's resilience shone through. He nurtured the vineyard back to health and began selling bottled Juliénas, establishing a nascent reputation for his wines. By the late 1970s, his son Jacques had taken the reins, pouring his heart and soul into the family's legacy. Tragically, Arnaud's induction came earlier than anticipated, following Jacques' unexpected passing in 2008. Drawing on experiences from other French winemaking regions, Arnaud has since maintained the estate's pedigree of excellence.
Spread across 11 hectares, Domaine des Chers embraces a diverse range of appellations, including AOP Juliénas, Saint-Amour, Moulin à Vent, Chénas, and Bourgogne Blanc. The vines are an average of 50 years old, some at the age of 70. The estate adopts reasoned agriculture, and their annual yield approximates 20,000 bottles, predominantly of the varietal Gamay noir à jus blanc. The Gamay vines are cultivated on the terrains of Côte de Besset and Pressins, with a mixture of sandy soil and deeply weathered granite forming the foundation. Each harvest sees the grapes manually picked and vinified separately in cement vats, undergoing a nine-day carbonic maceration followed by malolactic fermentation. The Saint Amour is then aged for six months before being introduced to the world.
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