2012 Château du Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais, France
Like all Beaujolais reds, this wine from the Moulin-à-Vent Cru is made from 100% Gamay grapes.
The producer Château du Moulin-à-Vent has gone through a revival in recent years, and claims to be one of the best in the area and the Moulin-à-Vent appellation.
Unlike other wines from CMV that are single vineyards like the La Rochelle or the Croix des Vérillats, the wine we’re tasting today and simply called Château du Moulin-à-Vent is a blend from 5 different terroirs on the estate’s vineyards:
- ‘le Moulin-à-Vent’: around the historic Moulin-à-Vent windmill
- ‘la Rochelle’: situated in the couloir des vents (or the winds’ corridor)
- ‘la Roche’: on an iron oxides-rich soil
- ‘les Thorins’: a warm South-facing vineyard
- ‘les Caves’: very old 70+ year-old vines
Vines’ density is extremely high at 10.000 plants per hectare. Their age is also impressive as they are all between 40 and 80 years old.
On paper at least then, we are on for a good Beaujolais wine. This is especially true if you consider it is not made using the carbonic maceration method that is common in the region but only allows to make relatively light fruity wines.
This Château du Moulin-à-Vent Cuvée staid for three weeks fermenting and macerating on skins in its tanks, before being aged for 12 months in French oak barrels and puncheons (20% new).
2012 vintage conditions in the region, like in most of France, were difficult however, requiring strict grape selection.
So how good is this 2012 Château du Moulin-à-Vent wine in the end?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
A rather intense red dark color for a Beaujolais wine, nearly black in the core of the black, dark red on the rim.
The nose is very powerful, displaying hips of exuberant spicy note of white pepper and nutmeg.
It’s almost minty and slightly grassy. Those notes are complemented with ripe blackberry, vanilla, roasted cocoa notes. It smells extraverted, ripe, and complex.
The palate displays great acidity and fresh cherry notes which makes the wine feel like a fresh, light and fruit cherry liqueur as the first impression.
A wealth of oak flavors make the picture much more complex: toffee caramel is quite dominant, with chocolate, cocoa and vanilla. They make the wine feels and tastes slightly sweet, which balances the acidity rather nicely.
Tannins are granulous, a little carboardy really, making for a drying finish.
Definitely tasty, both sweet and savory wine filled with sweet notes of ripe fruit and vanilla, but also super spicy, minty, slightly vegetal, and feeling surprisingly almost salty.
The concentration, depth and length are rather unusual for a Beaujolais wine. It’s powerful, rich and complex for a Gamay.
2012 Château du Moulin-à-Vent leaves your senses and palate intrigued as of how sweetness, ripe richness, acidity, and vegetal characters can all be in a single wine.
In the end, the result of this unusual combination does the job: you DO want to go for another sip to try and understand it better.
Yes, it’s a wine to experience…
Find out all about the producing winery with our Château du Moulin-à-Vent producer profile: