Yann Bertrand 2018s

As the sons and daughters of some very famous Beaujolais families – the Metras', the Dutraives – begin their own projects, you might expect the spotlight to shift to them. But for the past few years, it has shone brightly on the previously-unknown Bertrand in Fleurie, and for good reason. No young winemaker in Beaujolais garners the praise and attention Yann Bertrand does. Yann Bertrand's are some of the purest, most complex wines coming from Beaujolais today; we haven't been this excited about a young Beaujolais producer in some time. If you love great Beaujolais in the mold of Marcell Lapierre and Jean Foillard, then Yann Bertrand should be at the top of your list of producers to try.

The Bertrand family has owned their 7.5ha of vineyards since 1992, and they've farmed them organically since 2012. The majority of them are in Fleurie, with a small portion over the line in Morgon. But Yann was uninterested in wine and had no intention of carrying on the family tradition.  He actually studied banking and then traveled the French Alps. Ironically, it was here where he learned what Beaujolais was capable of. Yann got jobs in wine bars just to pay the bills. Surrounded by wine geeks, he learned about the great natural wines of France – many of which are Beujolais – and knew that he had to return home.

Once back in Beujolais learned by the side of Beaujolais' masters Jean Foillard and Yvon Metras. These producers are known for marrying silken textures to Burgundy-levels of complexity. Yann Bertrand follows firmly in this vein. If your only experience of Beaujolais is the pale, bubblegum-flavored Nouveau that comes out every year around Thanksgiving, the complexity and seriousness of Cru Beaujolais may come as a surprise. 

Cru Beaujolais is amazing because you can do what you want with it. It's both beautifully complex and chuggably delicious on release. But should you choose to leave it alone in a cellar for a five, seven, even ten years, you will be greatly rewarded. Cru Beaujolais is what I think of as the kind of "ultimate" natural wine, in that its identity as a wine is inextricably linked to minimal intervention. Though certainly natural winemakers, the great winemakers of Beaujolais do not merely flout convention for attention or to produce inconsquential, gluggable wines. Instead, they follow centuries-old, natural techniques because they reveal the power of Beaujolais' soil and history. Fleurie is the "queen" of Beaujolais, all about silken texture, pure dark cherry and spice notes, with a subtle throughline of granitic minerality.  Yann's wines bear this out perfectly, which incredibly beautiful floral lift married to a spicy, almost iron-like, quality. These wines are complex and worthy of quiet meditation, but the truth is they're so delicious they often disappear before that's possible.

There are no products listed under this category.