2018 FLEURIE, Domaine Manoir du Carra. Beaujolais (Half Bottle)
Alcohol Percentage: 13%
Area: Fleurie is the most famous (simply because of its fortuitously appealing name) of the Beaujolais 'Crus' - those villages deemed the best sites in the area, and hence demanding the highest prices.
Grape Variety: 50 year old Gamay vines. Fermented with semi 'carbonic maceration' (inclusion of whole grapes in the vat, making for an initial fermentation within each berry, resulting in a light, lively style); aged in old barrels for 3 months.
Producer: Domaine Manoir du Carra is located in the small town of Denice, 5 km from Villefranche-sur-Saone. The property is now owned by fifth generation Jean-Noël Sambardier and his wife. Like many Beaujolais producers, part of their wine is sold to the big négociants, around 25% of their production each year. They have 30 hectares split between 50 vineyard sites.
Vintage: 2018 Best year in living memory for Beaujolais.
Cellar Potential: Now - 2018. Will change from strawberry-fresh to earthy and spicy, gaining a little pseudo-Pinot complexity.
Food Match: Beaujolais is better with food than many realise - its relative lightness makes it a great thirst-quencher with meat dishes, when other reds may seem too 'big'.
Old Bridge Rating: Fleurie seems to command an unwarranted premium over the other 'Crus' of Beaujolais, but this is one of the very best examples. Fuller than most, but without losing the vibrancy and joy of the genre.
Press Reviews: "Bright purple. Intensely floral, perfumed bouquet of blackberry, musky herbs, anise and underbrush. Sappy and sweet, offering juicy red berry and bitter cherry flavors and firm mineral spine. Finishes clean and racy, with very good focus and a persistent floral quality." Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - 90 points
£8.95 per bottle
£8.50 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£8.06 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles