In the glass, the Fleurie Cuvée Tradition 2019 has a limpid, glowing garnet color that warms to softly illuminated crimson near the edge. In a large, well-shaped glass, aromas of crunchy black and red fruit, including raspberries, fraises des bois, red currants, and white cranberries move in and out of the foreground, sometimes morphing into more fleeting suggestions of tamarind, charcouterie, and freshly turned loamy soil. On the palate, the wine is juicy, vibrant, and refreshing, as if a cool vintage northern Rhône Syrah were blended with a young Hautes Côtes de Nuits Pinot Noir, with mineral-laced red and black fruit flavors that echo the nose, adding orange pekoe tea, black truffles, and just-rained-on wet granite as the wine evolves in the glass. Then vibrant fresh berry acids and superfine black tea tannins punctuate the long mineral-saturated finish. If hyperbole is permitted, I will venture that this is the most elegant Fleurie that Patrick Brunet has produced since we began working with him in 2009. Drink now–2030.
About this wine producer: The original family estate consisted of these two hectares of weathered schist in “Javernières” on the Côte du Py, an undisputed Grand Cru (if the vineyards of Beaujolais had ever been classified). In 1970, Patrick’s father, Robert Brunet, purchased four more hectares of sandy granite, in a climat appropriately named “Champagne,” located in the heart of Fleurie. “Champagne” had been planted in 1930, and along with the tiny parcel of “Javernières” made Robert Brunet the proprietor of two of the finest vineyards in all of Beaujolais. Regrettably, Robert died suddenly when Patrick was only eighteen, so the choice Patrick faced was stark: let his mother rent out the vineyards so he could stay in school, or take over the estate at the age of eighteen. Naturally, he chose the latter, and never looked back.