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Chateau des Bachelards Comtesse de Vazeilles Fleurie 2020  - First Bottle


97 James Suckling -
Tasting this astonishing Fleurie is like watching the flickering of dappled shade on a hot summer's day with a gentle breeze. The delicate interplay of dark (structure) and light (red fruit and floral aromas) in the nose and on the extremely focused palate is fascinating, and has a stunning combination of finesse and density. Very long finish where the fine tannins and mineral acidity are tightly interwoven, like long plaited hair. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.

Technical Details

  • WinemakerAlexandra de Vazeilles
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBeaujolais
  • AppellationFleurie
  • Farming MethodCertified Biodynamic and Organic
  • Alcohol13.5%

Chateau des Bachelards Comtesse de Vazeilles Fleurie 2020

Gamay  |  France

Certified Biodynamic and Organic
40% off retail!

This continues to be the BEST Beaujolais producer we’ve ever found...and the wines keep getting BETTER! 97 points and the incredible, best-in-the-country price of just $32.95?! This is something to load up on, and drink over the next decade-plus!

We’ve staked this claim before, but have no hesitation in doing so again…Château des Bachelards is the GREATEST. CRU. BEAUJOLAIS on the planet!!! Comtesse Alexandra de Vazeilles continues to defy all naysayers, and makes the world’s top gamay noirs – that score right alongside the greatest Grand Cru Burgundies, the rarest Northern Rhone syrahs – the BEST wines in the entire world – and she does it here, in the much-maligned Beaujolais region. If you think you know Beaujolais...think again. No spritzy carbonic maceration, no horsey, barnyard, root cellar flavors… just elegance, supreme power, layers upon layers of deep red and black berries and plums, intoxicating floral aromas, with a spice and minerality to match, and a silky texture that your tongue simply won’t believe possible!

Created by the Benedictine monks of Cluny around the year 1100, Château des Bachelards’ vineyards have been long revered by locals, sommeliers, and wine critics alike. Run by the Platet family for over 200 years from 1793 to 2007, the estate is now managed by Alexandra de Vazeilles. Alexandra, the Comtesse de Vazeilles, who trained at Chateau Latour before taking on the domaine, has even surpassed the rigorous farming traditions upheld by both the Benedictine monks and the Platets, implementing organic and biodynamic techniques on top of next-level additions like agroforestry in the vines, a permaculture vegetable garden, sheep for weed control and fertilization, naturally occurring bees, herbal medicine, horse-drawn soil cultivation, and more. This estate is widely considered to be making the best wines in its long and illustrious history and let me tell you, this wine was a revelation.

The aromas explode from the bottle with supremely floral notes of fresh violets, peonies, and crimson roses. The flavors abound with macerated blackberries, black plums, red currants, raspberries, strawberries, Bing cherries, and a grounding, intense, and crisp mineral note – like the struck flint found in certain Chablis wines, but rarely experienced in reds of any sort. The wine is liquid silk, with a seamless integration of flavors, textures, and acids all moving in perfect coordination – like a starling murmuration or a school of fish avoiding a predator. Concentration without heaviness, structure without grip, the wine is elegance manifested.

The old vines, massal selection clones, are 60+ years old, grown in the region’s famous pink granite soils. Formed of black mica, quartz, and feldspar, the minerality of these sloped vineyards are believed to be the driving force for the abundance of high-toned floral notes that the wines of Fleurie exhibit. Situated on the lower midpoints of the hillside slopes, just as the great grand crus of Burgundy, is where Château des Bachelards has these enviable plots. The grapes here are harvested by hand in crates, with the winery gravity-fed, and only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation. The maturing process is incredibly long for Beaujolais, with maturation occurring over 18-20 months.

Comtesse Alexandra has been at the helm since 2014, and her training at top Chateaus like Bordeaux’s iconic Château Latour and Burgundy’s revered Domaine de Montille and Domaine Roulot has served her well here. In less than a decade, she and ace consultant, Stéphane Derenoncourt, have turned this into the top Beaujolais winery in the world. If you try one gamay noir this year – this is the benchmark. At a remarkable price too.

PAIRING IDEAS: This really can’t be beaten...a bottle of this and a simple, juicy, crispy, and delicious roasted whole chicken. Dry and salt the skin really well, start off in a hot 475 oven, get some color, and drop the oven to 325 to finish. Serve with whatever veggies are in season, and a nice crusty baguette to mop up the juices as you go!

About the Producer

Like Burgundy, Les Bachelards owes its existence to the Benedictine monks. The monks of the abbey of Cluny, created the sister abbey of Arpaye and chose to plant the vineyards in the place called Les Bachelards. The original house was destroyed during the revolution. The Platet family bought the house and its vineyards and were the sole owners from 1793-2007. During this long period, the Chateau is ranked among the best estates in the region due to its spectacular terroir. The vineyards have not been uprooted since Phylloxera and the age range is 60-100 years old. Since 2007, the vineyards have been organically farmed and in 2015 the vineyards received the demeter certificate for biodynamic farming. In 2014, the estate was acquired by Alexandra de Vazeilles and is producing gamay and chardonnay wines of extraordinary quality. She produces wines from Fleuries, Saint-Amour, Moulin-a-Vent, IGT Comtes Rhodaniens and whites from Pouilly-Vinzelles appellation.