Posted on 07.05.21 Wine of the Week

The Wine Society Bin Series #9: a fresh-fruited Chiroubles

Every few months, the Wine Society releases a limited edition, ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’, so-called ‘bin series’ wine, chosen by one of its expert buyers to offer something a little different.

The last time I started writing about such a release – a sensational Encruzado from Portugal’s Dāo region, last autumn – it had sold out by the time I went to publish the piece, thus rendering my prose pointless. So, this time, I am getting in there at the start.

The Wine Society Bin #009 Chiroubles 2020 (£10.50, with members limited to a max of six bottles) is a posh Beaujolais, coming from one of the lesser known ‘Crus’. There are ten such sub-zones, with the cru wines sitting at the top of the Beaujolais quality pyramid, above ‘Village’ level and regular Beaujolais.

The society’s buyer Tim Sykes is a particular fan of wines from Chiroubles, especially in a hot vintage like 2020, because its vineyards sit between 300 and 600 metres above sea level – the highest in the region – so the extra altitude helps preserve the fresh, perfumed fruit for which good Gamay, its grape variety, is famed.

This wine is made without the addition of sulphur, the preservative that winemakers use to prevent wines from oxidising and to ensure a longer shelf life, which really helps the fruit shine bright.

The enticing, perfumed nose leads into crunchy, fresh red fruit, with a lovely lick of wet granite on the palate, adding to the vibrant sense of freshness. It’s smooth too, slipping down very easily. It’s a lovely wine, but hurry, hurry, as it will not be around for long.


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