Domaine Chermette: 2022 Beaujolais

2022 Beaujolais: “… Among the Finest Values that can be Found in French Wine” [William Kelley]
Domaine Chermette: 2022 Beaujolais
When we spoke just before harvest, not even the woeful form of his beloved Olympique Lyonnais was enough to dampen Pierre-Marie Chermette’s enthusiasm for his domaine’s 2022 release. Chermette’s wines from this year combine the vivacious drinkability of top-shelf Beaujolais with the depth, perfumed charm and seamless structure of a great year. If you’d like a comparison, the outstanding quality and balance of the 2019 vintage would be an excellent place to start, and perhaps 2012 before that. Not only are the wines crammed full of mouth-watering fruit and juicy freshness—from the soaring, flower-strewn perfume of Fleurie to the deep-set mineral tones of Moulin-à-Vent—but they are also highly typical of their site.

For the uninitiated minority, Pierre-Marie Chermette’s old-vine, wild-ferment, unfiltered Beaujolais has been a benchmark since the ‘80s. In those first decades, his wines played a considerable role in raising the bar for the region; to this day, they remain at the very top. Unlike many great French wines, they are still well within the everyday-drinking price range. You’d be hard-pressed to find more dollar-for-dollar value in our portfolio. Bojo-heads should not hesitate.

the wines

Domaine Chermette Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV
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Domaine Chermette Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV

This cracking dry sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay from a single parcel of vines just north of the Chermette cellars at a place called Le Bois-d’Oingt. It’s a 2.5-hectare southwest-facing site on limestone/clay soil, so perfect for Chardonnay. The wine ages for 18 months in bottle, minimum sulphur is used, it is neither fined nor filtered and very little dosage liqueur is added (4 g/L). Already the story is ahead of the vast majority of Champagne these days!

This shipment is a blend of 2018, 2019 and 2020 and is showing creamier, lemon-curd intensity and more length than previous bottlings—perhaps due to the low yields and warmer vintages involved. There are well-pitched notes of pear, citrus, chamomile, toasted hazelnuts and subtle buttery brioche, while the palate is vinous and focused, balanced by stony acidity. We love the fine, airy bubbles in this wine as well as its fresh, sculpted energy and finesse. If you don’t know this wine, do yourself a favour; French sparkling wine this impressive, and at this price, does not grow on trees. 

This shipment is a blend of 2018, 2019 and 2020 and is showing creamier, lemon-curd intensity and more length than previous bottlings—perhaps due to the low yields and warmer vintages involved. There’s well-pitched notes of pear, citrus, chamomile, toasted hazelnuts and subtle buttery brioche, while the palate is vinous and focused, balanced by stony acidity. We love the fine, airy bubbles in this wine as well as its fresh, sculpted energy and finesse. If you don’t know this wine, do yourself a favour: French sparkling wine this impressive and at this price does not grow on trees.

 




This shipment is a blend of 2018, 2019 and 2020 and is showing creamier, lemon-curd intensity and more length than previous bottlings—perhaps due to the low yields and warmer vintages involved. There’s well-pitched notes of pear, citrus, chamomile, toasted hazelnuts and subtle buttery brioche, while the palate is vinous and focused, balanced by stony acidity. We love the fine, airy bubbles in this wine as well as its fresh, sculpted energy and finesse. If you don’t know this wine, do yourself a favour: French sparkling wine this impressive and at this price does not grow on trees.

Domaine Chermette Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022

Chermette’s entry-level Beaujolais is drawn from 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on dark granite soils around the homestead in Saint-Vérand (in southern Beaujolais). The winemaking has remained unchanged for decades, with traditional whole-bunch, semi-carbonic fermentation in concrete tanks and then maturation in both tank and old oak casks still the order of the day.

As opposed to his age-worthy Crus from Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie et al, Chermette’s aim here is to produce something light-to medium-bodied, bright and cherry-fruited with reach-for-another-glass charm. The nose is so exuberant you could be tasting out of barrel, flush with lip-smacking wild-plum fruit flecked by violet florals. The palate tells the same delicious story through waves of vibrant and tangy berries and cherrystone fruit. Love at first sip! There is a strong argument to say this is the best Griottes we have shipped. As always, it is a delicious, moreish wine and fabulous value.

“The perfume fills up the nostrils. It smells good. Appetising. Bright cherry, sweet orange, raspberries. They are on the firm side, crunchy, fresh. Damp earth and violets lay underneath. Then chewy texture with wet clay tannins fills the mouth. It’s just pure cherry juice that makes for an excellent thirst quencher and I’m pretty sure it’s also good for your health.”
91 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022 (1500ml)
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022 (1500ml)

Chermette’s entry-level Beaujolais is drawn from 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on dark granite soils around the homestead in Saint-Vérand (in southern Beaujolais). The winemaking has remained unchanged for decades, with traditional whole-bunch, semi-carbonic fermentation in concrete tanks and then maturation in both tank and old oak casks still the order of the day.

As opposed to his age-worthy Crus from Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie et al, Chermette’s aim here is to produce something light-to medium-bodied, bright and cherry-fruited with reach-for-another-glass charm. The nose is so exuberant you could be tasting out of barrel, flush with lip-smacking wild-plum fruit flecked by violet florals. The palate tells the same delicious story through waves of vibrant and tangy berries and cherrystone fruit. Love at first sip! There is a strong argument to say this is the best Griottes we have shipped. As always, it is a delicious, moreish wine and fabulous value.

“The perfume fills up the nostrils. It smells good. Appetising. Bright cherry, sweet orange, raspberries. They are on the firm side, crunchy, fresh. Damp earth and violets lay underneath. Then chewy texture with wet clay tannins fills the mouth. It’s just pure cherry juice that makes for an excellent thirst quencher and I’m pretty sure it’s also good for your health.”
91 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022 (1500ml)
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022 (375ml)
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022 (375ml)

Chermette’s entry-level Beaujolais is drawn from 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on dark granite soils around the homestead in Saint-Vérand (in southern Beaujolais). The winemaking has remained unchanged for decades, with traditional whole-bunch, semi-carbonic fermentation in concrete tanks and then maturation in both tank and old oak casks still the order of the day.
As opposed to his age-worthy Crus from Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie et al, Chermette’s aim here is to produce something light-to medium-bodied, bright and cherry-fruited with reach-for-another-glass charm. The nose is so exuberant you could be tasting out of barrel, flush with lip-smacking wild-plum fruit flecked by violet florals. The palate tells the same delicious story through waves of vibrant and tangy berries and cherrystone fruit. Love at first sip! There is a strong argument to say this is the best Griottes we have shipped. As always, it is a delicious, moreish wine and fabulous value.

“The perfume fills up the nostrils. It smells good. Appetising. Bright cherry, sweet orange, raspberries. They are on the firm side, crunchy, fresh. Damp earth and violets lay underneath. Then chewy texture with wet clay tannins fills the mouth. It’s just pure cherry juice that makes for an excellent thirst quencher and I’m pretty sure it’s also good for your health.”
91 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Les Griottes 2022 (375ml)
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Origine Vieilles Vignes 2022
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Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Origine Vieilles Vignes 2022

Chermette’s emblematic Cuvée Traditionnelle Vieilles Vignes (previously called Vissoux) was first bottled in 1986 at the behest of Jean Brouilly, then Michelin-starred chef of Tarare. It instantly caused a sensation, launching the fame of the Chermette wines and igniting heated debate within the region. Unchaptalised and unfiltered (inadvertently or not), this wild-ferment, low-sulphur, old-vine cuvée sailed over the oceans of bland, homogenised Beaujolais being produced at the time. It also raised the bar considerably for quality, non-Cru Beaujolais, and remains a benchmark.
The fruit source is a densely-planted four hectares in Saint-Vérand, with vines rooted in a pocket of dark granite—soil that partly accounts for the wine’s Cru-level depth and minerality. The vine age also helps, ranging from 35 to 85 years. These vines typically produce a considerably plumper and silkier wine than the entry-level Griottes, and in’22 this manifests in an explicitly floral and fleshy release bursting with plump blackberry fruit, lithe, powdery structure and juicy freshness. A wine to brighten the gloomiest of days; the value on offer is off the charts.

“Cherry and red plum, cherry kernels, almond essence, it’s a bit meaty, dense, firm and crunchy, with a savoury finish. It ticks the boxes for sweet and savoury with a right balance, and scratches that Beaujolais itch quite nicely.”
91 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Origine Vieilles Vignes 2022
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Domaine Chermette Brouilly Pierreux 2022
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Domaine Chermette Brouilly Pierreux 2022

Martine Chermette’s grandmother was born and grew up among the vines at Pierreux, just outside the small hamlet of Odenas. As Martine puts it: “For sentimental reasons [we] couldn’t resist buying this little plot of vines at the foot of Mont Brouilly.” Chermette tends just 1.5 hectares of vines here, with 60-year-old roots delving deep into the eroded granite and bluestone that has been washed down from the mountain over millennia. The name Pierreux comes from the word pierres (‘stones’), illustrating the makeup of the soil.
The Brouilly is often a more brooding cuvée in the range—particularly in its early years—though 2022 is a finer and more aromatic example, with scents of wild blue fruit aromas along with pitchstone and peppery spices. The palate is juicy and fine with creamy, scented fruit cushioned by succulent acidity and elegantly chalky tannins. 


Domaine Chermette Brouilly Pierreux 2022
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Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022
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Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022

The Poncié cuvée is drawn from a beautiful 4.5-hectare site of 45-year-old vines on pink granite soils. It is Chermette’s most seductive and graceful Cru bottling, especially when young. Poncié is one of a handful of celebrated highland terroirs along the ridge situated high above the village (Roche Guillon is another). The winemaking is traditional, with natural, whole-bunch ferments in large concrete vats and aging in large old foudres. 

Ripe yet compact, seamlessly silky and flooded with floral and red-fruited perfume, it's a stunning example of a wine Pierre-Marie Chermette likes to describe as “élégant et aérien”, or elegant and lifted. Poncié is one of seven vineyards in Fleurie that has recently been put forward for 1er Cru status. There could hardly be a better wine to go into bat with than Chermette’s 2022.

“From pink granite, 45-year-old vines, whole bunch. Rose perfume and orange blossom in the opening act. Is it a cliché that Fleurie smells floral? Don’t even get me started on ‘feminine’. But it does. And there’s also a pink grapefruit twist lingering high, acidity is something of a highlight here, following that grapefruit theme, the whole palate is lifted and ethereal. Granitic dust of tannins on a bitter wave, meaty finish with a lingering cherry. Very good.”
94 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022
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Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022 (1500ml)
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Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022 (1500ml)

The Poncié cuvée is drawn from a beautiful 4.5-hectare site of 45-year-old vines on pink granite soils. It is Chermette’s most seductive and graceful Cru bottling, especially when young. Poncié is one of a handful of celebrated highland terroirs along the ridge situated high above the village (Roche Guillon is another). The winemaking is traditional, with natural, whole-bunch ferments in large concrete vats and aging in large old foudres. 

Ripe yet compact, seamlessly silky and flooded with floral and red-fruited perfume, it's a stunning example of a wine Pierre-Marie Chermette likes to describe as “élégant et aérien”, or elegant and lifted. Poncié is one of seven vineyards in Fleurie that has recently been put forward for 1er Cru status. There could hardly be a better wine to go into bat with than Chermette’s 2022.

“From pink granite, 45-year-old vines, whole bunch. Rose perfume and orange blossom in the opening act. Is it a cliché that Fleurie smells floral? Don’t even get me started on ‘feminine’. But it does. And there’s also a pink grapefruit twist lingering high, acidity is something of a highlight here, following that grapefruit theme, the whole palate is lifted and ethereal. Granitic dust of tannins on a bitter wave, meaty finish with a lingering cherry. Very good.”
94 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022 (1500ml)
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Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022 (375ml)
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Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022 (375ml)

The Poncié cuvée is drawn from a beautiful 4.5-hectare site of 45-year-old vines on pink granite soils. It is Chermette’s most seductive and graceful Cru bottling, especially when young. Poncié is one of a handful of celebrated highland terroirs along the ridge situated high above the village (Roche Guillon is another). The winemaking is traditional, with natural, whole-bunch ferments in large concrete vats and aging in large old foudres. 

Ripe yet compact, seamlessly silky and flooded with floral and red-fruited perfume, it's a stunning example of a wine Pierre-Marie Chermette likes to describe as “élégant et aérien”, or elegant and lifted. Poncié is one of seven vineyards in Fleurie that has recently been put forward for 1er Cru status. There could hardly be a better wine to go into bat with than Chermette’s 2022.

“From pink granite, 45-year-old vines, whole bunch. Rose perfume and orange blossom in the opening act. Is it a cliché that Fleurie smells floral? Don’t even get me started on ‘feminine’. But it does. And there’s also a pink grapefruit twist lingering high, acidity is something of a highlight here, following that grapefruit theme, the whole palate is lifted and ethereal. Granitic dust of tannins on a bitter wave, meaty finish with a lingering cherry. Very good.”
94 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Fleurie Poncié 2022 (375ml)
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Domaine Chermette Moulin à Vent Les Trois Roches 2022 (375ml)
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Domaine Chermette Moulin à Vent Les Trois Roches 2022 (375ml)

Les Trois Roches is named for the three rocky parcels of vines from which it derives—Rochegrès, Roche Noire and Rochelle. The average age of the vines on these sites is now more than 40 years. Pierre-Marie points out that La Rochelle (which overlooks the famous windmill) brings structure, whereas the east-facing Rochegrès contributes finesse and supple tannins, and the Roche Noire grapes bring liveliness and juicy fruit. One of the common features of these sites is the concentration of manganese in the soils, which delivers an unmistakable mineral thread that runs through the wine. Unlike Chermette’s other Crus, the Moulin-à-Vent undergoes a portion of barrique aging (20%), which gives you some idea of the intense personality of this Cru.  

It's a wonderfully vivacious and aromatic release with a structured, mineral and ferrous intensity that screams of its place. Expect layers of blue fruit and black cherry, a juicy, enveloping texture, delicately mouthcoating tannins and creamy old-vine/low-yield concentration, all underscored by that pungent seam of smoky mineral and long, succulent freshness of the vintage. This serious, grown-up Beaujolais warrants a few years in bottle before broaching, though it does have the balance to be enjoyed with gusto now!

“Smells darker than the Fleurie cru, more ‘masculine’, dare I say it! With blackberries and black cherries in the mix, and a touch of liquorice. Dark earth, dark chocolate with grainy tannins. Black pepper finish. Dark in profile all the way as it seems but still light enough to easily drink a few glasses with no problems whatsoever.”
92 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Moulin à Vent Les Trois Roches 2022 (375ml)
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Domaine Chermette Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches 2022
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Domaine Chermette Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches 2022

Les Trois Roches is named for the three rocky parcels of vines from which it derives—Rochegrès, Roche Noire and Rochelle. The average age of the vines on these sites is now more than 40 years. Pierre-Marie points out that La Rochelle (which overlooks the famous windmill) brings structure, whereas the east-facing Rochegrès contributes finesse and supple tannins, and the Roche Noire grapes bring liveliness and juicy fruit. One of the common features of these sites is the concentration of manganese in the soils, which delivers an unmistakable mineral thread that runs through the wine. Unlike Chermette’s other Crus, the Moulin-à-Vent undergoes a portion of barrique aging (20%), which gives you some idea of the intense personality of this Cru.
It's a wonderfully vivacious and aromatic release with a structured, mineral and ferrous intensity that screams of its place. Expect layers of blue fruit and black cherry, a juicy, enveloping texture, delicately mouthcoating tannins and creamy old-vine/low-yield concentration, all underscored by that pungent seam of smoky mineral and long, succulent freshness of the vintage. This serious, grown-up Beaujolais warrants a few years in bottle before broaching, though it does have the balance to be enjoyed with gusto now!

“Smells darker than the Fleurie cru, more ‘masculine’, dare I say it! With blackberries and black cherries in the mix, and a touch of liquorice. Dark earth, dark chocolate with grainy tannins. Black pepper finish. Dark in profile all the way as it seems but still light enough to easily drink a few glasses with no problems whatsoever.”
92 points, Kasia Sobiesiak, The Wine Front
Domaine Chermette Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches 2022
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Domaine Chermette Saint-Amour Les Champs-Grillés 2022
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Domaine Chermette Saint-Amour Les Champs-Grillés 2022

The newest star in the Chermette firmament, Pierre-Marie’s Saint-Amour is drawn from a tiny parcel of 50-year-old vines from the Champs-Grillés climat (which covers a total of just three hectares). The parcel was offered to Chermette by an old friend who could no longer manage the steep aspect on the Bessay Mountain.
Saint-Amour’s soils include areas of granite and varying quantities of clay and limestone—a mix said to produce lighter, more delicate wines. Chermette’s vines, however, are all rooted in the classic decomposed granite. Along with the old vines, low yields and high, southeast-facing aspect, this begets a surprisingly intense wine, which combines the lacy muscle of this grower’s Moulin-à-Vent with the soaring perfumes of the Fleurie. Long, flowing and lacy, it’s a wine to be drunk again and again. 

Domaine Chermette Saint-Amour Les Champs-Grillés 2022
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★ ★ Domaine deux étoiles “The wines produced by Martine and Pierre-Marie Chermette (recently with their son Jean-Étienne) have virtually no equivalent. Their depth and definition place them above the rest.” La Revue du Vin de France

“Old vines, diligent but traditional vinification and élevage in foudre are the rudiments of the approach. To my palate, some of the cuvées reviewed here number among the finest values that can be found in French wine.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

“The wines produced by Martine and Pierre-Marie Chermette at Domaine du Vissoux have been consistently in the top tier of Beaujolais since at least the 1989 vintage, which I first tasted in 1990.” Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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