Friday July 28
Taste the fantastic Beaujolais of Jean-Louis Dutraive
6-8 PM $15

Los Angeles natural wine Beaujolais organic biodynamic orange wine
I dig Beaujolais. So much so, I’ve self-consciously had to tone down my public exuberance for it, as I fear my incessant yammering about Beaujolais makes me out to be even more of an insufferable bore than I really am. My relationship to natural wine is a result of tasting a cru Beaujolais, Foillard’s Morgon, many years ago. Modern natural wine began in Beaujolais, and the wines of the appellation remain a touchstone for me. Why? Because the very good basic wines of the appellation are just about perfect adult beverages for Los Angeles: thirst-quenching and reanimating in the way few other light red wines can match; the more serious and structured cru wines manage to remain soif-y, but have tremendous depth of flavor without attendant extract or alcohol. You see, here I go, yammering again!

Tonight, we’re tasting five wines from Jean-Louis Dutraive, an under-the-radar Beaujolais grower who has become one of my very favorite in the appellation. Dutraive took over the family domain in the late 80s and has quietly made a name for himself in the region and beyond. Dutraive began transitioning the domain’s vineyards to organic farming and achieved ECOCERT certification in the late 90s. In the cellar, he employs traditional Beaujolais semi-carbonic vinification, but uses zero sulfites or other additives during fermentation — these are naked wines that are pellucid reflections of good old-fashioned farming and the exceptional terroir in which the vines grow. 2016 was a disaster for Dutraive, with hail destroying most of his Fleurie grapes. Fortunately, he could source some exceptional fruit from another rockstar Fleurie farmer, Jean-Claude Chanudet, and was able to make some lovely wine despite the vagaries of the weather in 2016. Jean-Louis reached out even further afield in 201 and purchased a bit of carignan and cinsault from the south of France. We’ll taste the carignan tonight, a wine that speaks of the sunny south of France but vinified semi-carbonic as are all Dutraive’s wines, so it’s juicy and light, light, light.

Famille Dutraive Chénas 2016
Jean-Louis Dutraive Fleurie 2016
Domaine de la Grand’Cour Brouilly Vielles Vignes 2016
Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie Vielles Vignes 2016
Famille Dutraive “Cap au Sud” Minervois Carignan 2016

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