Wine Review: Château du Moulin-à-Vent 2011 Champ de Cour Moulin-à-Vent
“This is the second of two reviews for wines by Château du Moulin-à-Vent. To learn more about the village of Moulin-à-Vent, the region of Beaujolais, and the Gamay grape then please read the review for Château du Moulin-à-Vent 2011 Moulin-à-Vent.
“So because I covered all of that in the first review, let’s talk a bit about the winery in this one.
“The earliest proof of Château du Moulin-à-Vent’s existence is from 1732 but it’s probably older than that. However, before 1936 it was called Château des Thorins. 1936 was the year that Moulin-à-Vent became one of the first Cru Beaujolais villages to be established, and it was named after the three-hundred year old Moulin-à-Vent style windmill that stands on top of the hill of Les Thorins. So, the Château decided to change from Château des Thorins to Château du Moulin-à-Vent. The X’s on the label have got to be an homage to its beloved windmill, right?
“The average Gamay vine at Château du Moulin-à-Vent is forty years old, and they go up to sixty. Vine yields keep going down after they’re twenty-five, which is why they’re usually uprooted around then and replaced with new ones, but quality of the wines they produce go up. Less wine, better wine, more expensive wine. At an average of forty the wine should be sophisticated as fuck. But, for the Champ de Cour that this review is for, the vines are thirty years old.
“The winery is also plot-specific. So although the wine I previously reviewed is their flagship introductory wine, this one comes from the very specific terroir of their Champ de Cour plot. This plot is between the windmill and the other Cru Beaujolais of Fleurie. The soil has granite on the surface, forcing the vine to dig deep to the nutrient-rich clay underneath.
“100% of this baby was aged 17 months in French oak, 20% of it new with a medium toast. The final product has an ABV of 13%.
“The wine is a dark ruby red and as black as my heart at its center. The one thing on the nose that immediately stood out was the tar. Badass. There’s also raspberry, wet wood, chocolate mint and iron. I love this nose.
“It’s rich in mouthfeel, medium bodied with medium tannin and bright acidity. There’s flavors of dry stone, raspberry, cranberry, flat cola and toffee. It finishes with stripping tannin, dry stone, cranberry and chocolate mint.
“If I had $58 to drop on a bottle of wine I would have no problem dropping it on this bottle of wine. And it would be one of my targets as a favorite $58 bottle because it’s not your typical high quality Cabernet or Pinot Noir that you can find just about anywhere. This is high quality Beaujolais and it’s pretty damn awesome.”