The 2015 vintage in Beaujolais will be remembered for numerous reasons, and one of those is Jean-Louis Dutraive’s oldest son took the reigns of two parcels in Beaujolais and began bottling his own wines. With one plot in the Beaujolais Villages appellation and another in the Fleurie lieu-dit La Chapelle des Bois, Justin is on his way to proving that like his father, the Dutraive’s make nothing less than beautiful wine.
After a handful of internships both abroad and with local vignerons, Justin decided his path was to be like his father’s, focused on organic viticulture with a light hand in the cellar. Justin began working alongside Jean-Louis learning the ways of Domaine de la Grand’Cour while simultaneously sharing his ideas of Beaujolais’ future. While the foundation of Beaujolais is set, Justin shares his vision of the future with his close friends and fellow young vignerons Yann Bertrand and Pierre Cotton as they all believe the path of Beaujolais’ future is paved by the principles of organic and biodynamic viticulture along with the most natural approach possible in the cellar.
In 2015, Justin agreed to the long term leases of two parcels. The first is the small plot “Les Bullands” in the Beaujolais Villages appellation, a parcel which was otherwise going to be torn up. This parcel sits just beneath the village of Fleurie where his second parcel lies in the lieu-dit La Chapelle des Bois. In 2016, Justin expanded as he found a new organically farmed parcel in the Beaujolais Villages appellation bordering Brouilly called “Les Tours.” Justin now holds approximately 0.8 hectares in the Beaujolais Villages appellation and 0.4 hectares in Fleurie. When visiting Justin in January 2017, his excitement for his new cuvée was crystal clear.
Vinification practices are closely aligned with those of his father’s Domaine de la Grand’Cour. During fermentation semi-carbonic maceration takes place, the grapes are macerated on their skins for 15-30 days and are fermented naturally with indigenous yeast. A combination of used Burgundy demi-muids, foudre, and stainless steel tanks are used during élevage. Minimal sulfur is used throughout the winemaking process. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Fleurie is quickly becoming one of our favorite appellations in France and certainly our favorite cru in Beaujolais. This is a town filled with excitement and energy while simultaneously producing wines of great elegance and finesse. At almost 60 years old, Jean-Louis Dutraive has gained the respect of the town and a iconic reputation across all of Beaujolais while his eldest son Justin and his 26 year old neighbor, Yann Bertrand, pave the way for Beaujolais’ future; quickly being viewed as the new wave. No matter their age, these vignerons are only a few examples of why we plan on spending more time in Fleurie over the coming years.