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Spotlight on: Albert Bichot Julienas Roche Granit (2016)

The Bichot Family settled in Burgundy in 1350 (aka a long time ago) and since this time the family's coat

of arms and symbol (the Doe) have not changed. In 1831 Bernard Bichot decided to establish a wine trading business in his name, which makes them 44 years our senior! Just like Tate-Smith Ltd, the business has grown with each generation and Albert Bichot, the original, settled the business in the centre of Beaune in 1912, where it has stayed ever since. In the second half of the 20th century a new generation of sons oversaw an era of expansion, with construction of a large ageing cellar, bottling centre and winery. Now, in 2022, under the management of Albéric Bichot, the company's vineyards total 6 estates that cover Burgundy from north to south.

A little bit of Burgundy history

To find out one of the secrets to Burgundy's beautiful wines, it is necessary to look back 200 million years (just a bit before the Bichot family arrived). The region was part of a vast tropical sea which time transformed into limestone soils. The limestone in the soil gives Burgundy wines their zesty minerality that they are famed for and also the potential to spot the odd fossilised creature in the vineyards (if you are lucky).

Back to Bichot

So why have we picked Albert Bichot Julienas Roche Granit (2016) as as one of our wines of the month for August?

This appellation (more on wine terms in future blogs but this describes where the wine is from and therefore what rules the wine production will have to follow in this area) is located in the north of the Beaujolais region. The vines are planted in well-drained soil, composed of granite and ancient silt, and they face east so have good exposure to the sun.

The grapes themselves are Gamay. The Wine Folly have an excellent taster's guide to Gamay Wine which will give you an in depth understanding of this beautiful wine. But the headlines about the grapes:

  • They are cousins of Pinot Noir

  • They are sometimes referred to as 'the Beaujolais Grape', although it is grown in other places, they just do it really well here

  • They are famous for producing a light, fruity red wine

  • They have been in and out of fashion over the centuries. The ruling dukes of Burgundy once tried to outlaw them (bit harsh) but luckily for us, they did not succeed and the Gamay grape has lived on.

So there is the appellation, the grape, now for the vinification (turning the grapes into the wine). Once the grapes have been harvested, they are put into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 10 days. Then they are aged in vats for 8-9 month before being bottled.

In summary, this all means, that this vintage (2016), which has benefitted from being laid down for 6 years, is now at it's prime for drinking.

Tasting notes

All of the above makes for a very drinkable wine. It is perfect for summer as the Gamay grapes mean it is a light, fresh red and the Burgundy soil means it has a beautiful minerality. It has vibrant fruits with notes of candy, herbs and wild fruit and the palate is generous, fleshy and balanced.

It should be served at around 14 degrees, which is cooler than room temperature so you may want to pop it in the fridge for a short while before drinking.

If you are having it with food then this would pair excellently with roasted red meats (potentially off the BBQ?!), meatier fish, such as Tuna or Salmon, and mild cheeses.

If all of this has got your taste buds crying out for a try, then you can find this lovely wine in our shop or on our website:

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