Domaine Diochon Moulin-à-Vent Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2021
In a wine landscape in which producers bottle increasingly wider ranges of cuvées, Domaine Diochon has become an outlier, producing one bottling year in and year out, which happens to be the same bottling we have imported for nearly forty years: the old-vine Moulin-à-Vent.
In our November 1984 newsletter, Kermit wrote, “There was only one cask of old vines and Diochon was going to blend it in to add substance and character to his other casks. I had to pay a premium to obtain that one cask pure and unblended.” Today, the wine is made from vines planted in 1920, 1950, and the 1960s. Not much else has changed with respect to this rouge that hails from Moulin-à-Vent, the Beaujolais cru known for producing arguably the region’s most age-worthy wines.
Bernard Diochon, who succeeded his father in 1967, once said, “I like tannic wines without heaviness; with fruit and floral aromas. I don’t like weighty wines with hard tannins.” Although Bernard has been succeeded by Thomas Patenôtre, the wine continues to remain true to that sentiment. It contains some tannin—it wouldn’t be young Moulin-à-Vent if it didn’t—but it is beautifully integrated and the wine is ready to drink now if given a little time to breathe. Soulful and savory, with notes of cherries, iron, and smoke, this is cru Beaujolais built to last.
Producer: Domaine Diochon
Winemaker: Thomas Patenôtre
Vineyard: 50 – 85 years, 5.05 ha
Soil: Pink Granite, sandstone, with a manganese-rich sub-soil
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
VITICULTURE / VINIFICATION
• Vines are situated on granite slopes with east by southeast sun exposure
• Vines are sustainably farmed
• Harvested by hand at the perfect ripeness; no chapitalization
• After the harvest, grapes are transferred to temperature-controlled cement cuves, where they undergo a traditional semi-carbonic, whole cluster fermentation for about twelve days
• Pump-overs are performed daily
• Two rackings take place towards the end of the fermentation process
• The wines age in oak foudres for at least 6-7 months before bottling
• Only minute doses of sulfur are used
• Wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered
Wine Advocate – “The 2021 Domaine Diochon Moulin-à-Vent Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is a pretty, charming wine, bursting with aromas of sweet berries and plums mingled with peonies and potpourri. Medium-bodied, fleshy and giving, with powdery tannins and tangy acids, it also exhibits impressive concentration for the vintage. Old vines from some of the appellation’s finest sectors, whole-cluster vinification, classical macerations and élevage in foudre are the order of the day. The 2021 is a success, overperforming for the vintage.” (92 Pts)