La Cuvée Du Chat
Is A Super Beaujolais
JC Chanudet La Cuvée Du Chat, Vin Du France, 2020, 12%,
€28.95 Le Caveau, 64 Wine, Greenman Wines, Bradleys Cork
"Top notch Beaujolais at its most gluggable"
There is a perceived wisdom that it is good idea to rub a furry animal a day, that owning a pet reduces your risk of heart disease. You may not be able to get your hands on a cat or a dog that quickly - you may not want to - but this gorgeous wine with its smooth silky mouthfeel could well have an even better outcome for you!
Baudelaire’s cat, the one in the poem, may well have had “un dangereux parfum” but, while nasally and orally tempting, Chanudet’s La Cuvée du Chat has nothing of menace about it at all. Jean-Claude and Marie Lapierre are highly regarded in organic and natural wine circles (if not necessarily in the wine administration circles) and this bottle shows exactly why.
One word you don’t see on the label is Beaujolais even though this 100% Gamay comes mainly from a cru area. Vin de France indeed! Some table wine for 29 euro, this super Beaujolais.
Colour is the typical light ruby. Pleasant, even modest, aromas of cherry and raspberry. But, like the cat of the poem, it does have something of a sexy backbone. Life in the old cat yet, the fruit harvested from vines of 80 years of age.
Superb soft and deep flavours, nice acidity too and a persistent finish. Eminently digestible, easy drinking, full of palatable pleasure and Very Highly Recommended.
Sediment noted by the way, so might be worthwhile decanting as young wines often are. As it turned out, the sediment was practically negligible.
The label illustration by Maurice Sinet (died 2016, aged 87) always brings a smile. He was better known as Siné and was a columnist for Charlie Hebdo.
The beautiful Gamay grapes from these venerable vines are handpicked in October, after which carbonic maceration with natural yeasts occurs in an enamel tank with some pumping over to stimulate activity. The wine is then moved to foudres to rest on lees before finally being bottled with minimal SO2.
Importers Le Caveau continue: After all of that effort we end up with a super supple and velvety wine on the palate with juicy fresh red berry, cherry and blackberry dancing on the tongue. Top-notch Beaujolais at it's most gluggable.
And why no Beaujolais on the label. Because the winemaker Chanudet, like his late father-in-law, has never bothered to obtain “biologique” certification, even though he operates his vineyard organically. He has said that it is not up to the organic winemakers to write “Organic wine” on their labels, but rather to the others to indicate “Chemically-produced wine.”