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2020 Jean-Claude Lapalu Cote De Brouilly

SKU 400000004785
$34.98
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When Jean-Claude Lapalu started out as a winegrower in 1983, his family's grapes were sold to the local cooperative. Beginning with the 1986 vintage, he started out on his own, "but my first four vintages are best forgotten, and the 2000 vintage is the first that really counts as far as I'm concerned," he reflects. He credits a Grenoblois cheese merchant, who began visiting and tasting at the domaine from 1996, as a mentor. "He talked to me about wine in a non-academic way and helped me to form my palate. He warned me against trying to compensate in the cellar for what I was lacking in the vineyards." Lapalu's response, he tells me, was to go home "and ask my father where our plough was." A Parisian caviste—the former wine buyer for Galleries Lafayette—who shared bottles from other regions with Lapalu, such as the wines of Domaine Belluard in the Savoie, opened his eyes to another world of wine. Today, of course, Lapalu is an icon in the natural wine movement, so it's interesting to reflect on how far he has come since his tentative beginnings. His nine hectares are farmed organically and biodynamically, and vinification is carried out with little or no sulfur dioxide, generally with strict carbonic maceration, though the peculiarities of his various cuvées are described in more detail in the accompanying notes. Wines bearing Lapalu's label share one characteristic, however: they're irresistibly delicious. Today, he numbers among Beaujolais's finest producers, and I enjoy each visit I pay to his small domaine immensely. -- Wine Advocate

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