Character in Chablis
Château de Béru, Chablis, France
It is with great excitement that we share Château de Béru's limited release of the 2018 vintage and the prized Chablis Clos Béru Monopole from the spectacular 2017 vintage...
The charmed wines of Chablis are famous the world over and have been since the 12th century when monks tended the land. Some used a lunar calendar to guide them, as is seen at the entrance of Château de Béru, home to one of two remaining lunar calendars of its kind dating back to the 15th century. The monks would select the finest parcels by building stone walls around specific plots, known as Clos. Today, this land and its wines continue to be held in high regard amongst wine drinkers, investors and importers alike. But what is it that makes one Chablis different from the next among the ocean of Chablis production? Most will say, "I love Chablis wines" and expect a uniform steely freshness and minerality that is only achievable with significant intervention in the cellar. But for Athénaïs de Béru, custodian of the land of Béru and winemaker at the 400-year-old family estate, this is no way to make great wine.
"It's not about applying the same recipe to achieve the same wine, but about making wines that have their own personality and individuality and of course when one is working at the whims of the weather, each vintage requires a tailor-made approach.”View Wines
It is with great pleasure that Athénaïs talks us through some of her greatest releases to date.
We start with the emblematic 2017 Clos Béru Monopole, rooted in the greatest traditions of Burgundy. Taking its name from the 12th century wall that surrounds the five hectare parcel of south-facing vines perched at 300 meters above sea level on the slope of the hill of Béru. The soil is a mix of clay and limestone peppered with fossilised oyster shells that remind us that Chablis was once covered by a warm sea some 150 million years ago. "It is the combination of this unique terroir, geology and climate that makes this wine completely unique," says Athénaïs.
Together with the almost perfect conditions that the 2017 vintage bestowed, which gave "incredible energy, balance and potential of ageing and allowed for complete natural expression - we don't aim to control the taste we want nature to express itself, and 2017 allowed us to do just that."
"2017 was the best vintage that we've had in the past ten years!"
It is no wonder that Athénaïs has decided to bottle 300 limited edition magnums of the 2017 Clos Béru, which has only been done once before, during the excellent 2014 vintage. What is especially interesting about these sought-after limited edition bottles, is that each magnum is hand bottled directly from the barrel and marked according to the bottling sequence. This means that number 1 will taste different to number 300.
"So here we really get to taste the evolution of the wine, which has been ageing in oak for three and a half years - that's the idea of this wine," says Athénaïs.
Our library stock of Clos Béru Monopole can be found here.Clos Béru Monopole
"2017 Clos Béru Monopole is a stunning wine. Rich and textured, the 2017 possesses remarkable depth from the very first taste. More than anything else, the Clos Béru is a Chablis to admire for its textural intensity and utterly captivating beauty. It is one of the most distinctive whites I have tasted in a number of years." Antonio Galloni
"2018 vintage was a real gift..."
Following the great success of the 2017 vintage, we are pleased to report that 2018 was another great vintage despite being one of the warmest in Chablis:
"Due to our location, on the hill of the Béru, we benefit from a higher altitude than the rest of the Chablis appellation. This microclimate enabled us to make wines with a concentration of maturity and acidity, which brings a really interesting balance to the very focused and pure, full-bodied profile of the 2018 vintage - different in style from 2017."
The Terroirs de Béru cuvée is considered the signature wine from the hill of Béru. It is a blend of different parcels from across the estate.
The 2018 vintage provided a perfect state of grape health which allowed Athénaïs and her team to "harvest calmly in line with the evolution of maturity."
This tailor-made approach allows Athénaïs to work with nature rather than against it and shows us how different Chablis wines can taste depending on which terroir they come from within Chablis.
Athénaïs made a further four cuvées from the 2018 vintage, all of which are single-vineyard wines: Montserre 2018, Côte aux Prêtres 2018, Orangerie 2018 and the Premier Cru Vaucoupin 2018 each one an expression of their site location, each with their own personalities, each a reflection of where the grapes have grown, the geology, the exposition, and the typicity of the vine itself.
"All of our vines are on the same hill, but they have different expositions, compositions of limestone, all of these details will have an impact and make different styles of wines."
I ask Athénaïs, what is the one thing that you would like people drinking your wine to know? She replied:
"We want to share our philosophy, that there is not just 'one Chablis' but several different wines from the Chablis region - we aim to fight against the 'standardisation' of the appellation. Each wine has something to say - its own energy, character and profile. This is the main thing to know about us!"
"But in the end, we produce a bottle of wine - and the best connection among people all around the world, from different civilisations, cultures, countries, is sharing a glass of wine… in times like these, we miss people sharing life."Shop Wines
Photo credit Benoit Guenot Monopole Magazine.
Words by Sarah Jones.