Beaujolais, France

Benoit Camus

Vagabond 2020



Vagabond 2020
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 concrete and cuve for a short élevage. As ever there is a luminous quality to the deep cherry-toned fruit and a distinct mineral imprint from the complex soils. Enjoyed chilled with a nice piece of saucisson or a good hunk of cheese, there are few wines better suited to a picnic.



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.