Jean-Louis Dutraive has quickly emerged as one of Beaujolais' top talents.
Dutraive has vines in Bouilly, but the beating heart of the domaine has been a singular expression of Fleurie. We've referred to the style as "Fleurie with teeth."
In 2016, frost and hail decimated Dutraive's vines in Fleurie. Production was down by 90%! This lead Dutraive to purchase fruit from friends in other Beaujolais Crus - Saint Amour, Chiroubles and Chénas. There's no getting around how unfortunate the circumstances were, but it has still been fascinating to see Dutraive working with different Beaujolais terroirs.
For us, the Chénas En Papolet is the most compelling of the bunch and that's something that doesn't surprise us at all. Chénas is quite possibly the most under-the-radar of Beaujolais' terroirs. It has a huge potential.
The style of Chénas can be tricky to situate. It has some of the meaty power of Moulin-à-Vent and some of the silky textural charm of Fleurie. It's easy to imagine Dutraive making a really lovely Chénas and the 2016 doesn't disappoint.
When you catch a successful 2016 Beaujolais, they really impress with the lift and perfume that they offer. This is exactly what you get with Dutraive's Chénas En Papolet. The wine has an incredible clarity, delivering dark fruits, smoky minerality and complex spices. There's a mouthwatering energy and grippy depth.
Dutraive's 2016 Chénas En Papolet is a bottle that we reach for often. It's so delicious and has such an interesting multifaceted personality that it really begs to be revisited. This is something that you'll want to pick up at least a few bottles of.
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