This wine is a tour de force. It offers soft dark red fruit, chalky minerality, spices, black pepper. All that fruit and minerality rests on a medium structure with a nice finish.
The Céline et Nicolas Hirsch vineyard sits on 250 meters, steep hills. The densely-planted vines are 40-90 years old. Whole cluster grapes ferment with wild yeast in cement tanks. After the initial fermentation, they spend 6 months in stainless. At bottling, there’s a light filtering but no fine.
About the Céline et Nicolas Hirsch
Born in Alsace, Céline and Nicolas quickly fell in love with wine and with each other. They headed south to the Beaujolais region. There they also fell for the gnarly old Gamay vines of an estate in Chénas. They now farm 4 hectares (9.88 acres) of old-vine, densely planted Gamay. Their vineyards grow on steep granitic, sandy soils in the towns of Chénas, Juliénas, and Moulin à Vent.
The age of their vines varies from 35 to 90 years. They are all extremely densely planted (12000 plants/hectare) on very steep slopes. The soils here are granitic sand, sometimes up to 3 meters deep. While they’re not certified Organic or Biodynamic, they use similar methods. They are careful not to use too many chemicals. At harvest, they focus on the quality of their grapes by handpicking. Fermentation happens with wild yeasts in cement tanks. Some cuvees see oak, but the key here is the transparency of terroir. At bottling, there’s only light filtering, and no fining.
Needless to say, Céline et Nicolas Hirsch wines are gorgeous and easy-drinking yet serious. Enjoy them on their own or with food year-round.