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Domaine Chermette

Domaine Chermette

Artisanal Beaujolais “… among the finest values that can be found in French wine,”

The late Marcel Lapierre once said of Beaujolais, “Ça se bois sous la douche” (It’s a wine you can drink under the shower). While this captures the simple deliciousness of much Beaujolais, it doesn’t do justice to the wines being produced by the finest artisans like Pierre-Marie Chermette. Of the wines of this grower, we would be more likely to say, “Il est trop bon pour être bu sous la douche!” (It’s too damn good to be drunk in the shower!). Beaujolais can be the most joyful, compelling and life-affirming of wines. Yet in the hands of a master, it can also be a wonderfully refined, long-lived Burgundy. Domaine du Vissoux is a producer capable of fashioning such wines. This is why they can be found in many of France’s finest restaurants and why Vissoux remains one of the highest-rated Beaujolais producers in the leading French wine guide, Le Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France.

These are bottles that Burgundy lovers should load up on—they deliver the pleasure of many a village-level wine for a fraction of the price.

The old vine, wild ferment, unchapitalised and unfiltered Beaujolais from this touchstone producer have been over-delivering since the ‘80s. In those first decades, his wines helped raise the bar considerably and left a lasting influence on the region. Owners Pierre-Marie and Martine Chermette were among the first in Beaujolais to use sustainable agricultural practices, shunning the use of any chemicals in the vineyard and encouraging as much life in the soil as possible. They prune hard to keep yields low, harvest by hand when the grapes are fully ripe and regularly carry out green harvests to further reduce the yields and ensure full ripeness for the harvest. The wines are made with minimal intervention: wild yeasts, minimal sulphur additions and no filtering if possible. Aging is in traditional up-to-the-ceiling, neutral oak casks.

Not only do the Chermettes produce outstanding Beaujolais from the Crus of Moulin à Vent, Brouilly and Fleurie, but they also make some of France’s most highly regarded Crème de Cassis from their own fruit. If there is finer cassis made anywhere in the world, we have not tasted it! And now Pierre-Marie is producing some Crémant Blanc de Blancs which, as expected, is superb (otherwise he would not do it)!

It’s rare to see Pierre-Marie without a smile on his face and similarly, this affable grower’s wines are crammed with the same kind of sparkle and joie de vivre that greets visitors to Chermette’s Saint-Vérand Domaine. And why shouldn’t he be happy? Pierre-Marie Chermette has close to forty successful vintages under his belt, and he has recently been joined by their son Jean-Étienne, ensuring Chermette’s star will continue to shine among the brightest in Beaujolais. 

Region

Beaujolais, France

Wine Maker

Pierre-Marie & Jean-Étienne Chermette

What They Are Saying

“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 

“Few Beaujolais growers are in a position to pronounce on the region’s different terroirs with the authority of the affable Pierre Chermette...” Andrew Jefford, The New France

“From his base in southern Beaujolais, Pierre Chermette has become one of the beacons of Beaujolais quality…” David Schildknecht, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Domaine Chermette

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