Beaujolais, France

Julie Balagny

Docteur Briçou 2021


Docteur Briçou 2021
Beaujolais, France

A remarkable wine from a vineyard over one hundred years old in Moulin-à-Vent. The site is one of the highest in the appellation, at a similar altitude to Fleurie and likewise its soils of decomposed pink granite and quartz mirror its neighbour, rather than the heavier soils we expect to find in Moulin. As such this is a wine that in both style and spirit is closer to a great Fleurie. This wows with a remarkable density of fruit and a tightrope balance in which every little detail appears to be in place. Breathtaking now, it will reward drinkers for many years to come.



When it came to great Beaujolais, no one did it better than Julie Balagny.

Originally from Paris, Julie spent years making wine for others in the southwest of France before deciding to branch out on her own and when the time came in 2009, she wound up in Beaujolais. She found a remote eight hectare property in Fleurie, encompassing three hectares of vines on some seriously steep slopes, surrounded by prairies and woodland. 

In a normal year Julie would bottle three different wines from this plot; Cayenne, En Remont and Simone, reflecting these vastly different terroirs. Vines are between 30-90 years old, the vineyard work is organic and because of the steepness of the hills, done by hand. She later acquired a hectare of Beaujolais-Villages and little under a hectare of Moulin-à-Vent and worked a total of just under five hectares of vines.

In the cellar, Julie worked in a similar way to most of the area’s greats. Whole bunches enter the vats, ferment naturally and undergo a cold carbonic maceration. Once there, the fruit is left to be, there is no remontage, no pigeage. When the maceration is finished, the grapes are pressed slowly and gently over the course of several hours, by hand, using a very old press. Elévage took place underneath the farmhouse, where the wines were raised in old barrels and when ready, bottled with no additions at all.

Like all great wines, there was something about Julie’s that was not easy to put into words. They were defined by gorgeous aromatics and a delicate, almost ethereal quality that we will never find again. 

Julie tragically passed away in the spring of 2023 and has left behind beautiful memories in the hearts of many.