It may seem a little odd to even consider the idea of Beaujolais as we head into winter, but these wines are not just for the summer months. While a light red, nicely chilled, is the perfect alternative to light, crisp whites during the warm months, there is plenty suitable to the depths of winter as well. The lighter and frutier crus make great party wines, whilst the more robust examples are surprisingly versatile food companions, pairing equally well with dishes such as coq au vine and steak tartare.
Our main man in Beaujolais is Patrice Chevrier. The Chevrier family have made wine in Charentay in Brouilly for several generations, but the domaine in its current form came together when Jean Chevrier married Marcelle Burdin and their two families’ vineyard holdings were joined. Their son, Patrice, took over in 1984 and farms 25 hectares of vines, producing wines under 12 difference appelations. the majority of the vines, as you would expect, are Gamay, but there are also plots of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier and Syrah.
Along with land in the Beaujolais Villages, the domaine has holdings in four of the crus: Mrogon, Brouilly, Chiroubles and Fleurie. Vinification of the the beaujolais wines is by carbonic macerations – the traditional method of fermentation within Beaujolais that gives the characteristic flavours of bubblegum, juicy berry fruits and floral notes. However, at Domaine de Sermezy, only part of the fermentation is of this type, with the other half undergoing traditional vinification. The wines are aged in stainless steel before bottling, with no oak used.
Next time you’re in need of a lighter red, give their Brouilly a try. A richer Beaujolais, it features slightly earthy notes alongside the typical cherry flavours, with a gentle tannic structure.