The Return of Top Beaujolais from Y. Metras!
2007 Fleurie VV and Moulin-a-Vent
After a brief stint alongside the "Gang of Four" (Lapierre, Thevenet, Foillard, Breton) with importer Kermit Lynch, Metras completely disappeared from the US market.
Beaujolais fans in the USA are a generally lucky bunch: nearly all of the region’s best producers are represented by a few thoughtful importers. But there are always a few names and cuvées missing.
As Beaujolais fanatics, it haunts us that there has been darkness for years where one of the brightest stars should be burning. The wines of Yvon Metras are at the pinnacle of Beaujolais - regarded by many as the region’s top producer. Metras' wines are nearly impossible to find and have not been imported to the U.S. for nearly 10 years.
After a brief stint alongside the Gang of Four (Lapierre, Thevenet, Foillard, Breton) with importer Kermit Lynch, Metras completely disappeared from the US market (Metras reportedly ended his relationship with the US because he hated the paperwork, preferring to spend his time in the vineyard and his winery).
While keeping company with the Gang of Four in Beaujolais, outside the region Metras stands with the likes of Cornelissen, Jean Macle, and Ar Pe Pe: Benchmark producers who are not imported in the US but whose quality demands an appearance in the U.S. market.
Information on Metras' exact holdings is hard to come by, but it's safe to say that he tends no more than 8-10 hectares. Availability, even in Europe, is short and only a lucky few actually get to taste the wines each year. Their descriptions are littered with superlatives. The wines have a depth and concentration that surpasses nearly all others; Yet the signature of Metras wines, what people mention again and again, is their incredible breed and elegance.
It should go without saying that this is NOT Gamay that smells of bananas and comes from bottles with pretty flowery labels. It's serious Cru Beaujolais that holds its own with top Pinot Noir from the Côte d'Or. The paradoxical concentration and finesse that Metras coaxes from his wines led pundit Jamie Goode to remark that the 07 Moulin-a-Vent has “the same sort of elegance as a good Grand Cru red Burgundy.”
Fleurie is often regarded as the Queen of the Beaujolais Crus due to the intense florality of the wines it produces. Metras's gorgeously perfumed efforts remain true to this signature and his flagship bottling is a 'Vielles Vignes' (old vines) cuvée. From the sandy granite soils of the appellation, the vines that produce the nearly-perfect fruit are, on average, 70 years old, but there are more than a few that have seen their 100th birthday.
If Fleurie is the Queen, then Moulin-a-Vent, is the undisputed King. Here, Metras's bottlings show more muscle and sinewy textures, though with an equal dose of grace.
Regardless of their specific location, all of Metras' wines are members of the tiny, elite group that are true to the place where they are grown, but due to their outstanding quality transcend the limits of site to offer an extraordinary and unique drinking experience.
Many of the exact specifics of how Metras produces wines of simultaneous depth and enchanting finesse remain a closely guarded secret. However, there are a few practices that stand out. Like Lapierre and others in the "Microscope Group," (click here for more on the Microscope Group) Metras crafts the purest wines possible by relying on beautiful fruit born out of close-to-organic viticulture, native yeasts, late picking and minimal sulphur with none used before fermentation. Metras also macerates his wines for up to a month, much beyond the norm even for quality conscious growers.
For all Beaujolais fanatics, this is likely your only chance for the next two years to "go deep" on some of the best wines of the region.
You won't likely find them elsewhere and acquiring them in the near future will only be more difficult because the hail storms that ripped through Fleurie made Metras' 2008 production frighteningly small.
This offer, however, is not just for Beaujolais fanatics; while the wines will make the most savvy Cru Beaujolais drinkers look at Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent ... and even the entirety of Beaujolias ... with fresh eyes, seasoned Burgundy drinkers, with cellars full of Grand Crus will do well to give the wines a look for short-term drinking.
To secure your parcel of mind-bending, appellation-transcending Gamay please reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463. All orders are subject to confirmation - please give us your maximum order and we will allocate accordingly.
Crush Wine & Spirits
Other wines from Metras and the Gang of Four include: