We head to the south of Burgundy to discover the Beaujolais and its most coveted wines of 2019 so far. The birthplace of natural winemaking and environmentally-friendly methods of viticulture, this region has won over wine lovers with the finesse and deliciousness of its emblematic grape Gamay, its cellaring appellations and, of course, its unbeatable prices.
First of all, let’s remember that, to establish these rankings, we chose only the most expensive vintage of each domain and converted its auction price to a 75 cl bottle format to facilitate comparisons.
Having remained in the shadow of their Burgundian neighbours for a long time, the crus of the Beaujolais have been growing in popularity in recent years. And yet the Gamay grape was originally grown in Burgundy, until 1395 when Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, decided to tear out these vines, considered « vile and disloyal » and to relegate it to the Beaujolais. « Fatal mistake », some wine lovers say, because many appellations are distinguished by their well-made cellaring wines, which are gaining in popularity beyond France’s borders, even in Asia.
Top 5 Beaujolais bottles
|#||Highest-priced bottles||Price (inc. VAT) per 75cl bottle|
|1||2 magnum of s Fleurie l’Ultime Yvon Métras 2010||€ 197.50|
|2||1 bottle of Morgon 3.14 Jean Foillard 2005||€ 91|
|3||1 bottle of Morgon Georges Descombes 2005||€ 73|
|4||2 bottles of Morgon Les Impénitents Louis-Claude Desvignes 2017||€ 60|
|5||1 bottle of Morgon Barton et Guestier 1978||€ 58|
The list highlights the region’s emblematic domains, revealing a ranking that has been somewhat reshuffled compared to 2018. But, like last year, Yvon Métras is in pole position with his rare cuvée, produced only when the vintage allows it: L’Ultime 2010 (2 magnums for €790, or €198 for 75cl, + 8%). In the same vein, Jean Foillard rises on the podium, in second place with his rare Morgon 3.14 in the 2005 vintage, which comes close to the €100 threshold (€91, + 36%). It should be noted that the classification makes fall the preconception that Beaujolais wines are made to drink young. While they are of course delicious in their youth, time also allows them to develop a remarkable complexity. Especially this vintage of the 3.14 cuvée, which gains in density year after year.
Prestigious crus and large formats
Prestigious wines and large formats were fueled bidding wars in this first half of 2019. Thus, appellations reputed for their power and cellaring potential, such as Morgon (10 out of 20) and Moulin-à-Vent (4 out of 20) are widely represented. Louis-Claude Desvignes‘ famed cellaring wine, for instance, the 2017 Morgon Les Impénitents, sold for €60 (+ 45%). That the majority of wines in the rankings are magnums (13 out of 20) confirms the interest for large formats.
Organic, biodynamic and natural wines
Beaujolais is considered the spiritual birthplace of natural winemaking. It is here that Jules Chauvet, king of natural wines, carried out his experiments and brought together other winegrowers with the same vision: Marcel Lapierre (1 magnum of Morgon 2015: €108, so €54 for 75cl, + 64%), Yvon Métras, Jean Foillard, Georges Descombes (2005 Morgon: €73) and Philippe Pacalet (Chénas 2015: €38, + 24%).
While they might not necessarily practice natural vinifications, other domains stand out for their biodynamic viticulture (Jules Desjourneys and his Moulin-à-Vent Les Michelons 2010 sold at €53) and organic farming like Château des Jacques (Moulin-à-Vent 1985: €52, + 49%), the very discreet Domaine de la Grand’cour 2015 (1 magnum of Fleurie Vieilles Vignes Lieu-dit Champagne 2015: €74 , €37 per bottle, + 36%), Château Thivin, Mee Godard, Daniel Bouland and domain Thillardon.
Some new appearances
Some domains are emerging in the region, such as the Burgundian Philippe Pacalet and Mee Godard. The former is nephew of Marcel Lapierre, with whom he learnt the ropes begore going on to work at domain Prieuré Roch, famous signature of the Côte de Nuits. The second is an oenologist who, in 2013, took over the plots of a winemaker without any successor. The wines from this talented winemaker were a success right from the beginning.
This beautiful region, despite growing interest, continues to be attractively-priced: why not have a look at our Beaujolais wines currently for sale?
Read the rest of our regional auction rankings here:
20 most expensive Beaujolais bottles of 2019 so far
|#||Highest-priced bottles||Price (inc. VAT) per 75cl bottle||Buying country||Buyer profile|
|1||2 magnums of Fleurie l’Ultime Yvon Métras 2010||198 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|2||1 bottle of Morgon 3.14 Jean Foillard 2005||91 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|3||1 bottle of Morgon Georges Descombes 2005||73 €||France||Private|
|4||2 bottles of Morgon Les Impénitents Louis-Claude Desvignes 2017||60 €||Switzerland||Private|
|5||1 bottle of Morgon Barton et Guestier 1978||58 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|6||1 magnum of Morgon Marcel Lapierre 2015||54 €||France||Private|
|7||3 bottles of Moulin à Vent Les Michelons Jules Desjourneys 2010||53 €||France||Private|
|8||1 bottle of Moulin à Vent Château des Jacques 1985||52 €||France||Private|
|9||1 magnum of Morgon Côte de Py Domaine Maurice Gaget 1986||43 €||Japan||Private|
|10||1 bottle of Chénas Philippe Pacalet 2015||38 €||France||Private|
|11||1 magnum of Fleurie Grand’cour (Domaine de la) – Jean-Louis Dutraive Vieilles vignes Lieu-dit Champagne 2015||37 €||Switzerland||Private|
|12||1 magnum of Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie Château Thivin 2015||34 €||France||Private|
|13||1 magnum of Moulin à Vent Les Michelon Mee Godard 2016||30 €||France||Private|
|14||1 magnum of Morgon Côte du Py Dominique Piron 2009||29 €||France||Private|
|15||1 magnum of Morgon Côte du Py James Jean-Marc Burgaud 2009||28 €||Belgium||Private|
|16||1 magnum of Morgon Vieilles Vignes Daniel Bouland 2012||28 €||France||Private|
|17||1 magnum of Fleurie Cuvée Tardive Clos de la Roilette 2011||25 €||France||Private|
|18||1 magnum of Morgon Cote du Py Corinne Guillot 2016||23 €||France||Private|
|19||1 magnum of Chénas Les Vibrations Thillardon 2015||22 €||France||Private|
|20||1 magnum of Moulin à Vent Les Trois Roches Domaine du Vissoux – P-M. Chermette 2015||20 €||France||Private|