Beaujolais, France

Benoit Camus

Vagabond 2022

£23

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BENOIT CAMUS
Vagabond 2022
Beaujolais, France

Gamay from vines up to seventy five years old, from a number of parcels and terroirs. This spent two weeks as whole bunches in concrete, before being pressed off to cuve for a year’s rest. Despite the warmth of the vintage, there remains a luminous quality to the fruit and a distinct savoury imprint from the complex melange of soils. Pure, rustic and full of life, this is the essence of great vin de table.

Gamay


ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Benoit Camus is a real livewire. Whether working in the vines, in conversation or riding his battered motorcycle around the hills of southern Beaujolais, 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 the region’s 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, which 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 vineyards 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 with 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, paysan vigneron who’s just happy to be making pure, nourishing wines to be enjoyed by all.