Beaujolais, France

Romuald Valot

Cuvée 21550 2020

£36

ROMUAL VALOT
Cuvée 21550 2020
Beaujolais, France

This Pinot Noir comes from a one hectare parcel of vines up to eighty years old that Romauld farms in the Côte de Beaune’s Ladoix. Planted on the slope over clay and limestone, his vineyard sits right below the plantings of Prieure Roch, though Romauld chooses to bring his grapes back to Beaujolais to vinify them in the same manner as his Gamay, bottling the wine as a humble Vin de France. Reflecting the vintage, this offers an explosion of red berries, earth and gentle funk. Vibrant now, it will reward those who wait. 

Pinot Noir


ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Originally from Burgundy, Romauld Valot has spent the past decade forging a new path in a particularly remote part of the Beaujolais.

Born into a family of vignerons, he spent decades working for classic producers in Burgundy and was left disenchanted by the amount of chemicals used in the vineyards and the tricks being played in the cellar. In 2013 he bought a small cottage, cuverie and three hectares of vines in the hills above Beaujeu, way out in Beaujolais’ west.

The vines are planted over granite and are a hundred years old. At five hundred metres above sea level, they are amongst the very highest in the region but most importantly, they are a world away from most in the area, allowing Romauld to be alone with nature. He has since acquired a further eight hectares of vines elsewhere in the region, including a little Chardonnay and a parcel he’s planted with Aligoté, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Romauld also farms a hectare in the Côte de Beaune’s Ladoix, from which he produces a sublime Pinot Noir.

Romuald practices his own extreme take on organic agriculture, refusing to spray even copper and sulphur on the vines and experiment with no ploughing or pruning in some parcels. In the event he does need to treat the vines, he does so with his own infusions of wild plants, which he gathers and mixes with spring water, whey or clay.

Romuald’s winemaking is comparatively simple. He picks early in the morning, fills each cuve with whole bunches and fastens the cap. After a fortnight of infusion the grapes are pressed slowly over several hours and the wine is moved to old barrels for a year of élevage.

Whilst his farming might be radical, the wines are anything but. Delicate, fragrant and nuanced, they are an exercise in purity and utterly unique.