"On more than one occasion, Jean-Louis Dutraive has been fondly referred by his peers as "the heart of Beaujolais." Jean-Louis is a true master of Gamay. In addition to his masterful skill producing some of the best wines in Beaujolais, he is also a local legend who seems to have a never-ending supply of saucisson that appears at apros any time of day. The estate of Domaine de la Grand Cour dates back to 1969 when it was purchased by Jean Dutraive, making it one of the oldest in the village of Fleurie. Jean-Louis is a devout practitioner of organic viticulture with the property having been certified by ECOCERT in 2009. Dutraive, however, was practicing organic viniculture many years before that. The wines undergo traditional vinification without sulfur and with native yeast at very low temperatures, with carbonic maceration and little or no filtering. Jean-Louis' motto in the cellar is "minimal intervention and maximum surveillance."
The wines of Jean-Louis Dutraive are some of the most aromatically and texturally unique in all of Beaujolais. One whiff and the wines display an almost exotic floral and spicy aroma overlayed over lush minerally Gamay fruit, sort of like a top Morey St. Denis 1er or Grand Cru nose combined with earthy, Volnay-like fruit. There is also a textural lushness and exuberance backed up by ample structure and acid. These are substantial Beaujolais, and ones that could certainly stand up to food. They also have the requisite material to develop and evolve over the medium term, i.e. 10-12 years of aging, easily! Jean-Louis and his Domaine de la Grand'Cour wines have more than earned their place in the top ranks of today's Beaujolais domaines.
Fruitier than its old vine counterpart, the flagship 'Clos de la Grand'Cour' defines the Dutriave terroir and style. Aromas of dark cherry, violets and exotic spices on the nose. Rustic and complex on the palate, Dutraive compares the Grand'Cour to a baby Beaune Rouge in its muscle and breadth.
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