Domaine Jules Desjourneys
Fabien Duperray has been distributing some of the finest estates of burgundy for over 25 years, but until 2007 he had no vineyards of his own. He finally had the opportunity to acquire some small parcels of very old vines in Fleurie and Moulin‐a‐Vent in some truly special terroirs, and the results are nothing short of amazing.
His estate totals almost 7 hectares in Fleurie and Moulin‐a‐Vent and he has no vines under 65 years old with his oldest parcels clocking in at over 100 years old! Although he is certified organic, Fabien actually tends to his vineyards biodynamically. He oversees every detail in the vineyards with excruciating precision doing everything by hand. In fact, Fabien does not even have a tractor as the soil is worked by hand too. Yields are kept extremely low here, often clocking in between 25 and 30 hl/ha and harvested at the maximum ripeness attainable while still maintaining balance. Often times, Fabien is the last to pick in the appellation and usually by more than a week.
Once the fruit is harvested, it is brought into the winery where it is carefully picked over on the sorting table by a team of 18 people, and then the whole clusters are pressed and fermented in concrete tanks. After fermentation, the wines are transferred to specially made 400 Liter barrels and aged for as much as 36 months before bottling. Once bottled, the attention to detail does not stop. Fabien uses only the finest corks available for his wines and then the bottles are hand dipped in wax to ensure that no oxidation occurs.
The wines hail from two of Beaujolias’ most heralded crus, Mouin‐a‐Vent and Fleurie, and within each Fabien has specific plots that are bottled separately such as “Les Moriers” and “Chapelle des Bois” in Fleurie and “Les Michelons” and “Chassignol” in Moulin‐a‐Vent. Fabien refers to these various plots as deserving grand cru status. Of course, the INAO does not classify Beaujolais vineyards, however, looking back to the rankings of Danguy and Vermorel’s 1893 publication Les Moriers, and Chapelle des Bois were indeed ranked “1st Class,” the equivalent of Grand Cru in their classification system. Les Michelons, was ranked “2nd Class,” or 1er Cru.
The wines are very limited but once tasted, you will understand what led David Schildknecht to write upon tasting the Desjourneys wines for the first time “The big story is some of the most remarkable Beaujolais wines of my experience, and perhaps ever rendered.”