WSI94 WA92 A cuvée amounting to some 20,000 bottles produced from four hectares of the domaine’s easterly exposed holdings, the 2019 Chiroubles La Grosse Pierre bursts with aromas of red berries, rose petals and spices. Medium-bodied, fine boned and lively, with powdery tannins and a vibrant core of fruit, it concludes with a saline finish.
Jancis Robison: “Domaine de la Grosse Pierre 2019 Chiroubles: Pauline Passot makes translucent Beaujolais that is seriously underpriced. Fragrant, delicate, mouth-filing and very refined.
Domaine de la Grosse Pierre is situated in Chiroubles, and has some small holdings in Fleurie and Morgon as well. Like many young winemakers, Pauline grew up among the vines; after a career as a sommelier in France and abroad, she returned home to carry on her parents’ and grandparents’ legacy.
Her inaugural vintage was the 2018: a fine, bountiful vintage in Beaujolais, marked by ample fruit and fresh acidity. Domaine de la Grosse Pierre refers to the granite slopes of Chiroubles, a geologic feature that imparts an undeniable minerality to balance the bright berry notes of a grape like Gamay.
Her winemaking philosophy is clearly something akin to “slow and steady wins the race” — the fermentation is semi-carbonic and occurs slowly, over the course of 12 days and at a low temperature; this helps retain the integrity of the fruit and terroir of the 50-90 year old vines. Only native yeasts are employed, and minimal SO2 (if any) is added only at bottling.
Chiroubles’ position within the 10 Crus of Beaujolais is unique, as it is at the very highest altitudes of Beaujolais and the grapes take about a week longer to ripen than elsewhere.
Chiroubles tend to have quite a bit of complexity, even as young wines, which makes the appellation a great source for Cru Beaujolais to drink young. This complexity derives from a lovely velvetiness that is absent in the other Crus, as well as a floral note that is reminiscent of Fleurie.
La Grosse Pierre is a fairly new producer that is focusing on single vineyard expression of Chiroubles, and their first vintage is very promising.