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2020 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Moulin a Vent La Trois Roches

2020 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Moulin a Vent La Trois Roches

93 RP


From the critics:

93+ JG

Featured Review
Opening in the glass with notes of sweet wild berries, petals, warm spices and loamy soil, the 2020 Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches is medium to full-bodied, lively and nicely concentrated, with powdery tannins and a mouthwatering finish. Robert Parker Wine Advocate

Robert Parker | 93 RP

Critic Reviews

Opening in the glass with notes of sweet wild berries, petals, warm spices and loamy soil, the 2020 Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches is medium to full-bodied, lively and nicely concentrated, with powdery tannins and a mouthwatering finish.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP
(Moulin-à-Vent “les Trois Roches”- Pierre-Marie Chermette) The 2020 Moulin-à-Vent “les Trois Roches” from Jean-Etienne Chermette is an excellent young wine. It comes in this year at 13.5 percent and delivers a superb aromatic constellation of cherries, pomegranate, a touch of juniper berry, pigeon, coffee, woodsmoke, fresh herbs and a refined base of dark soil tones. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a lovely core of fruit, excellent mineral drive and grip, a bit of ripe tannin and a long, beautifully balanced finish. This has a bit of baked fruit element such as one might find in a young 1982 Bordeaux. It will need a bit of bottle age before it starts to drink with true generosity. (Drink between 2027-2065)

Cellar Tracker John Gilman

| 93+ JG

Wine Details for 2020 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Moulin a Vent La Trois Roches

Type of Wine Beaujolais : Beaujolais offers a change of pace from the standard (although exceptional) French red formula. With a focus on the Gamay varietal, these wines are light on their feet, highly acidic, energetic, and slightly less tannic. The region keeps on giving, and one could spend months and years exploring it all - a task worthy of kings.
Varietal Gamay : Overshadowed by the illustrious Pinot Noir grape, Gamay has long suffered the unfair status of being the underachieving step-child. Most famous for producing light, fruit-driven red wines of Beaujolais, the varietal, which full name is Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc, has a long and storied history; one that portrays a struggle for acceptance, but also one of resilience and success. Through adversity, the varietal found its niche in its homeland of Beaujolais and today is the cause for celebration as it is being used to make some of the greatest wines the region has ever seen.

In a region where prominent wine grapes thrive in perhaps the greatest winemaking location on earth, Gamay was once considered the pariah of the wine-world. The varietal first arrived to France in the 14th century where it initially received an unenthusiastic welcome. Due to its unfamiliar taste and texture, it was outlawed by the ruling dukes of Burgundy and was relegated to the granite-based soils in the hills just north of Lyon, a terroir that it was much better suited to anyway. Despite the edict, the extreme south, backwater location of Beaujolais was rarely enforced by authorities, thus enabling the mass cultivation of Gamay, in which quantity over quality dictated its production.

The appellation of Beaujolais enjoys a borderline continental climate, tempered by the presence of the Massif Central to the west and the Alps to the east. This provides a relatively warm growing season making it ideal for generating the ripe, fruit-driven flavors which characterize the nouveau-style wines. The small, deep-purple berries grow in tight clusters on vines that are moderately vigorous. The varietal thrives in its native terroir composed of granite, clay and limestone, which gives the wines produced its mineral zip.

The wine produced by Gamay has long been used in the making of Beaujolais Nouveau; a style in which the wine is rushed to consumers on the third Thursday of November immediately following harvest. Much like its approach during the middle ages, this concept entails quantity over quality. The 1970’s and 1980’s were glorious times for Beaujolais producers, as the world seemed to have an insatiable thirst for the thin, precocious, tart, light crimson liquid. However, in the past few decades the palates of consumers have changed and the interest in Beaujolais Nouveau fell out of favor.

Today, Gamay’s stronghold is Beaujolais, where it is currently enjoying a comeback of sorts. Beaujolais producers have been forced to re-design their objectives and policies but are once again producing worthy wines of interest for serious wine lovers. Due to the magic combination of the Gamay grape and the particular characteristics of the best villages or ‘crus’ in the region, most notably Macon and Moulin a Vent, the quality of wine produced has greatly improved. This village designation has allowed the Gamay grape and Beaujolais to once again populate the market and ultimately, consumer’s wine cellars and tables. More and more growers are once again making their wines much more in the way of traditional red Burgundy, fermenting the grapes in open wooden vats and ageing them in small barrels. This process is resulting in much deeper color, more tannic, long-lived wines that may not be ready to drink until four or more years after the vintage.

These wines still have Gamay’s trademark refreshing acidity but also have many attributes that make them more like red Burgundy. They are described as having red fruit and candied aromas with flavors of red cherries and strawberries. Some producers using this method claim the wines taste more and more like Pinot Noir the longer they age. This should not be a completely blasphemous claim, even to “pinophiles,” since DNA analysis has concluded Gamay to be the progeny of Pinot Noir and the ever rare Gouais Blanc grape.

The Gamay grape no longer has a single image but on the international marketplace there are now examples all along the spectrum from thin and vapid to pretty and refreshing to deep-flavored and rewarding. As author of I’ll Drink to That: Beaujolais and the French Peasant Who Made it the World’s Most Popular Wine, Rudolph Chelminski states, “Nowhere else does the little black grape express itself so completely and cheerily as in the Beaujolais…from the 17th century onward, there has never been any other red wine grape for the Beaujolais.”

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Region Beaujolais
Cru Moulin a Vent


Producer Domaine du Vissoux : The grand terroirs of Beaujolais that are reaped and sowed today, were formed over 320 million years ago. It is difficult to imagine such antiquity contributing to modern-day winegrowing, but it is, in fact, a major contributing factor. In the hamlet of Le Vissoux in Saint-Verand, just south of Burgundy, resides the Domaines Chermette (previously Domaine du Vissoux) which is in possession of some of the rarest granite-based soil on the planet. The domaine’s vision is to produce pure Beaujolais wine from pure grapes, as naturally as possible, utilizing the natural elements that nature has bequeathed unto them. With complete respect to the environment, the sky above and the rocks below, the Chermette’s vinify fresh, intensely fruity, vivacious wines of unique personalities.

Through genealogical research, the history of the Chermette family in Beaujolais can be traced back to 1772. There is very little detail on what transpired during the early years, but in 1873 the construction of the vaulted cellar marked a major historical achievement for the Chermette family. It is noted that the cellar was filled with casks of a smaller size than those used today, but confirms the family’s own winemaking heritage. A century later, another achievement was made when Pierre-Marie Chermette, at the young age of 22, decided to sell his wines in bottles (most of the wine produced at the time was being sold in bulk to negociants). This enabled him to have complete quality control of the entire process from cultivation of the vine to the marketing of wine.

Today, Pierre-Marie and Martine’s son, Jean-Etienne is in charge of winemaking and vine growing, as well as commercial development in France and abroad. Pierre-Marie continues to manage the entire domaine and all of its winemaking. Though he dons many caps at Domaines Chermette, he is particularly fond of vinification and blending and thus, not yet ready to pass the reigns in that regard, entirely. The Chermette family is extremely passionate about the art of making wine and its motto is the following: “The art of making wine the closest to the grape,” essentially… to obtain a healthy and fully ripe grape to vinify the wine as naturally as possible.

With sustainability, first and foremost, the domaine seeks out high environmental agricultural methods; reducing synthetic products in the vineyard, natural grassing in certain plots and reducing its carbon footprint with the aim of limiting their environmental impact. Three methods of pruning are practiced at Domaine Chermettes, including Cordon de Royat, Goblet and Guyot, each with their own benefits and suitability for designated plots. Harvest remains traditional with two teams of 25 Polish cutters, one in Saint Verand and the other in the Crus. In 2018, the domaine was awarded the Terra Vitis certification for their environmental approach for the respect of soils and vines.

In the cellar, traditional Beaujolais vinification methods, practiced by their ancestors, is employed: Semi-carbonic, because it is perfectly suited to the Gamay grape variety and their terroir. Wines are made without chemical yeasts, only with the support of natural yeasts of the grape. Chaptalization (or the addition of sugar to unfermented grape must in order to increase the alcohol content after fermentation) does not occur in the cellars of Domaines Chermette and while the addition of sulfites is necessary for the conservation of wine, very limited amounts are used. The Chermettes believe that anything more is auxiliary.

As aforementioned, the grand terroir of Domaine Chermette and its “Cru” vineyards is a major contributor to the quality and success of the wines. Unlike the predominantly clay-limestone terrain of southern Beaujolais, the soil here is granite. These plagio-granites are very specific to Saint-Verand and are marked by their blue coloring. This rare soil structure forces the rootlets to dig into the granite to nourish themselves, resulting in extremely structured wines with a fairly marked sensation of terroir in the mouth. The combination of terroir and the regions extremely unique climatic occurrences (Continental, Oceanic and Mediterranean, depending on the season) offers an incredibly hospitable location for the region’s hallmark grape variety, Gamay.

From south to north, the Chermettes cultivate vineyards in the prestigious Crus (appellations) of Brouilly, Fleurie, Moulin-a-Vent and Saint-Amour, which represent 20 hectares of vines. These prime locations and their noble terroir gives Gamay its finest and most beautiful expressions. Chermette’s Cru wines produced from these locations include, Brouilly Pierreux, Fleurie Poncie, Fleurie Les Garants, Saint-Amour Les Champs Grilles, Moulin-a-Vent Les Trois Roches and Moulin-a-Vent La Rochelle. From vineyards in Saint-Verand (9 hectares surrounding the domaine cellars) the bottlings of Beaujolais Les Griottes, Origine Vieilles Vignes (Old Vines) and Coeur de Vendages Vignes Centenaires (Century-old Vines) compliment their portfolio with typical drinking Beaujolais wines with the “structure of a Rhone, but also the finesse of a Burgundy”. The domaine also offers Beaujolais Blanc and two Cremants de Bourgogne (bubbly) and a slew of appellation wines that are all highly regarded.

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