Beaujolais, France

Julie Balagny

Minouche 2021


Minouche 2021
Beaujolais, France

This year’s Minouche comes from a wonderful parcel of old vines planted over pink granite in Fleurie, grown by Julie’s longtime friend Sylvain Chanudet. It is fascinating to see Julie apply her delicate touch to another vineyard in the region and this bears all the hallmarks of her best work. Compact and elegant, it impresses with soaring aromatics and a luminescent quality that makes for incredibly invigorating drinking.



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.