Beaujolais, France

Benoit Camus

Vagabond 2019

£20

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BENOIT CAMUS
Vagabond 2019
Beaujolais, France

Gamay from vines up to sixty years old, from a number of parcels and terroirs. This spent two weeks as whole bunches in concrete, before being pressed off to a mixture of concrete and cuve for nine months of élevage. With a luminous quality to the cherry-toned fruit and a distinct mineral imprint from the limestone soils, this is incredibly compelling. If only all Beaujolais were like this. 

Gamay


ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Benoit Camus is a real livewire. Whether working in the vines, in conversation or riding his battered motorcycle it is clear he is a man of rare energy and his wines follow suit.

Benoit farms four hectares spread over eight parcels around Ville-sur-Jarnioux in Beaujolais’ south. The terroir is complex. Predominantly limestone, with some clay, granite and marl in the mix. He lives there in a caravan hidden away in one of the parcels he lovingly refers to as ‘Chateau Roulant’. Three and a half of those hectares are planted with old vines of Gamay and he also grows a little Chardonnay.

His first harvest here was in 2006, though he’s been working in the vineyards of others since he was a teenager. He tends the vines alone, working organically and by hand and in the cellar things are kept simple with fermentation and élevage taking place in concrete and cuve and nothing added at any stage.

Until recently, Benoit chose not to label his wines, preferring to sell them to friends like Philippe Jambon, who would bottle them under their négociant projects. Unusual given the quality on display here but Benoit is a rare find – an old school vigneron who’s just happy to be making pure, nourishing wines to be enjoyed by all.