Moulin-à-Vent is one of the ten crus of Beaujolais, the French wine region lying between Burgundy and the Rhône valley, claimed by both. The wines of Moulin-à-Vent are robust and some of the most age-worthy wines in Beaujolais. The soil in Moulin-à-Vent is said to have a rather high manganese content. This mineral is actually toxic to grapevines in high concentrations. In Moulin-à-Vent, the manganese level is just high enough to cause the vines to produce limited yields. This makes the wine’s aromas and flavors quite intense.
Wine importer Kermit Lynch brings this gem to the U.S. It is a widely-held belief that when you see Lynch’s name on the label, you can feel safe that the wine will be good. I've never found a wine that shook that belief. He only imports wines that he feels worthy of being imported. Domaine Diochon Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2012 is one of those wines.
The wine embodies whole-cluster fermentation in cement tanks, oak aging over half a year and unfiltered bottling. Plenty of minerals are given to the wine through the loose, granitic soil in which the Gamay grapes grow on sustainably-farmed vines that range from 40 to 100 years old.
This great example of Beaujolais cru has a beautiful, deep, rich color. Minerals decorate the nuances of the nose, with cherry and black currant taking on earthy notes. True to Diochon's words, the wine feels light in the mouth with a firm tannic structure. Acidity is radiant and it finishes long and luscious.
Les Trois Roches 2012 brings the terroir of Moulin-à-Vent to the forefront in a lovely wine, purple at its core with a little brick color around the edge of the glass. The nose is explosive with cassis and blueberry, in a perfumed earth framework. The palate has dark fruit and pomegranate flavors, deep and luxurious. Great mineral notes and a bracing acidity again display the region’s strong suits, and firm tannins allow for the wine to take a seat at any dinner table. It finishes with a slight tartness of black raspberry.
Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter