Chateau de Beru Natural Wines
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Every time I open a newsletter with the phrase "natural" I come to regret it––most of the time. But not today––hold that thought....
The audience for this newsletter includes various wine drinking demographics and the natural wine people are a strong component as are the traditionalists. I don't want to anger anyone, which is why today is absolutely perfect for all parties involved.
Today's producer makes a natural wine, but like a handful of others we have featured from the likes of Fabien Jouves, Clos de lea Roilette, Domaine Tessier, and others, these wines are natural in their approach but not in taste. In other words, if you don't like natural wine, you will still love today's offering. And if you love the caricature of natural wine, you will still love today's offer. Win-Win!
So what is today's offering? We've been carrying the wines of Chateau Beru for a while now; only sold here and there to a handful of fellow eccentrics. Last week, I received a new offer and it occurred to me not only how many cool and interesting wines there are, but, that they have never been offered before in a newsletter. You're welcome!
Chateau de Beru is fascinating for a number of reasons, the first being, the most obvious, that this winemaker, as far as I know, is the only natural producer in Chablis. Secondly, as you scroll down, you will see in the offerings that there are red wines as well. Some might be familiar with red Chablis which is ethereal Pinot Noir, but Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan? Unthinkable! Absurd!
Lastly, Chateau de Beru is owned and operated by a woman (if that's not obvious by the photo) Athénaïs de Beru; something rare in Burgundy and even rarer in Chablis.
But if the wines are disgusting and overpriced, then the three points above really don't matter, do they? As is probably obvious by now, these wines are amazing. The select customers who order them regularly go absolutely bizonkers for them and it has been frustrating to not see these creep up in greater popularity.
The life force of Chablis inhabits all of them: protruding, irking, biting, and quenching. Just when you think you have discovered and honed in on Chablis notes, BANG! something hits you that's subtle yet unique. The reds are a force to be reckoned with. Done in unique bottlings in order to keep the uniqueness sharp and present.
I could go on and on, but I hope I have made my point: Chateau de Beru is a must try new producer that should be on everyone's dinner table as your so called "Dry January" comes to an end.
Side note: In case there is any confusion between Chateau de Beru and Athénaïs, the latter is under the same winery but given to the red and rose varietals that started in 2010. The name Chateau de Beru also refers to a specific site within Chablis.
Here is some extra reading:
2018 Chateau de Beru Athenais Rose
Weird stuff, but highly worth a few bottles. 100% Pinot Gris, skin contact that ends up tasting like a more austere Rose. I know! The beauty of this is that it can age considerably, as I have had some with a few years that don't shed a tear. Find it!
2019 Chateau de Beru Bourgogne Chardonnay
The introductory white to the bunch not technically called Chablis, but don't let them be a pejorative. Old oak and steel. Fresh cut minerals, apples and acacia blossom with a fine, pleasant touch of scented goodness. Find it!
2018 Chateau de Beru Athénaïs, Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre Amphore
Amphora aged Pinot. Yes, nothing quite like it on the planet. There is the Pinot freshness—dried floral notes and tingly berries—but at the same time, there is almost a gooey wholesomeness not to be confused with stewy or dried fruit––no, no, no––just meaning warmth. Find it!
2018 Chateau de Beru Athénaïs, Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre Pinot Noir
Same vineyard as the one above. More fresh and vibrant Pinot with greater acid development along the mid palate. Find it!
2016 Chateau de Beru Athénaïs Carignan
Think of Carignan as you might know––the roaming spice, the gripping fatness, fleshy fruit––and get it out of your mode, cause we gonna take a ride on the Chablis-Carginan expressway. Unlike the fiesty, southern French vibe, the Carignan here takes on a more rocky essence without being such high ABV. Done in old oak, there is no excuse for flashiness or heaviness, just grit and melodic structure coming through with a great gaze of confidence. Find it!
2018 Chateau de Beru Athénaïs, Bourgogne Epeneuil Hauts Danois
From a different plot to the other Pinots. This is the most austere of the bunch, but..I find the flavors to still be out there, floating around cosmically and unhindered. Still a Burgundy at the end of the day but not one you could easily pin down. Contact the shop for more information.
2016 Chateau de Beru Athénaïs Grenache Etcetrera
Although called a "Grencahe" there is added Syrah and Mourvedre to go for the Cotes du Rhone or as Athenais calls it "Chablis du Rhone." Fresh and fiery with a fat core of fruit chunk somewhat unhinged and untethered that floats between the ethereal existence of Pinot and the bouncy, rockiness of Grenache. Find it!
2016 Chateau de Beru Athénaïs Syrah
100% Syrah in used barrels. How to explain this?....I tried, but I can't quite articulate the uniqueness of this wine. Hardly any of the typical Rhone Syrah is there but the gaminess and mineral flash tends to be nuanced, broken down behind a wall of fleshy fruit. Just try this! Find it!
2016 Chateau de Beru Chablis Clos Beru Monopole
A Chablis like no other. This is the one people really go crazy for and drives Burgundy people mad as they can't really put their finger on what is going on here. I have tried this wine dozens of times in multiple vintages and there is something so delightful yet mystical about it, that it is never easy to pin down. The exoticness is so freakin out there with fruits and spice notes very disengaged but simultaneously splattered across your palate. Long, elevated finish with incredible depth and precision. Contact the shop for more information.
2018 Chateau de Beru Chablis 1er Cru Vaucoupin
Unlike the Monopole above, this one has more tangential Chablis like characters. Limey goodness with rock solid quenchability. It is with this one that if one tried blind would not think this was done by a natural producer and instead something along the lines of a Droin or Piuze. Find it!
2018 Chateau de Beru Chablis Montserre
A new wine from the lineup I have not tried or encountered yet. My people tell me it is done on an area with deep limestone and finished in stainless steel. If I had to bet, it is wonderful. Find it!
2018 Chateau de Beru Chablis Orangerie
Don't let the name fool you, this is not an orange wine. But, of the bunch, including the reds, this is the most "natural" in the alive, jumping down your throat features, which is not a bad thing. Fun is more like it. Find it!