Making Great Wine, Hating Paperwork: 2011 Metras Fleurie Printemps

Posted by Joe Salamone

Making Great Wine,
Hating Paperwork
2011 Métras Fleurie Printemps
The $33 Cult Beaujolais DEAL

Yvon Métras makes cult Fleuries. They have a textural element, an extra and indescribable range of flavors that sets them apart from everyone else.

The constant issue with Métras is that barely any wine makes it into the country. Métras is a great winemaker; he just hates paperwork. Who doesn't sympathize?

Still, the wines had such a reputation that you'd hear stories of wine geeks landing at Charles de Gaulle and immediately seeking out a little Métras. For the past five vintages we've tried to do our small part by offering as much Métras as we can get our hands on.

It's never much, and it's never enough. Already, months before they arrive, the 750mls of 2011 Fleurie VV and Ultime have already sold out. Métras' young-vine deal, his Fleurie "Printemps," on offer today, is bound to quickly follow.

Métras' Fleurie Printemps is his most direct, most feather-weight Fleurie. It combines a silken texture with equal parts fresh acidity and dark fruits.

While his VV and Ultime can be rich and chewy, the Printemps has more cut to it. The wine is a bit more agile - to be honest it's a bit more gulpable, though it retains that textural signature of Métras. Keep in mind, in Beaujolais, that overlooked land of old vines, this "young-vine cuvée" comes from vines which are the very respectable ages of 20-30 years old. There is complexity here.

In Fleurie, Métras farms the Grille-Midi and La Madone: both are top sites in prime, steep and very sunny climats. They are situated in the sandy, pink granite soils that yield a very classically feminine style of Fleurie that's earned the title "the Queen of Beaujolais."

This is what Métras 2011 Printemps struts with great energy. The ripe fruit of the 2011 vintage gives Printemps that suave and silken texture that makes Métras so fascinating. The vintage's freshness also gives the wines an acidic backbone that washes the palate with pulverized granite and violets.

Printemps is a wine that shines at the table. It combines perfumed dark fruits with an incisiveness. There's plenty of complexity to keep things interesting and then there's a deliciousness factor - the two conspire to makes it really easy to empty a glass.

Despite the inanely limited quantities, the few rare ghost-bottlings haunting various inspired geek cellars around the U.S., Métras wines are catching on. People are talking and every year, things get a bit more intense... the sell-outs quicker.

This is it for our 2011 Métras: a fairly small parcel and once it's gone, that's it.

Please give us your maximum order and we'll do our best.

To order, please email us or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits