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Daniel Bouland

Daniel Bouland, based in the hamlet of Corcelette within the appellation of Morgon, portrays the typical artisanal Beaujolais vigneron in its purest form. He makes some of the most old-school and expressive wines in the region, built for the long haul. For the time being, he is one of Beaujolais’ best kept secrets.

It was back in 2016 that GD’s co-owner and GM, Derek Kilpin, whilst spending some time in the tiny village of La Charité-sur-Loire, popped into the local wine shop and asked the owner of Le Vin, Jean-Paul Quenault, to recommend something. Well, Derek dug deep into his modest French vocabulary arsenal as Quenault did not speak English. Mutual understanding was eventually established, and Derek was recommended a magnum bottle of Morgon “Corcelette” from a vigneron he had never come across before, Daniel Bouland.

So impressed was Derek by this bottle of Beaujolais that his search began to track down monsieur Bouland. This took a fair while as Bouland is not the best on e-mail or phone as he spends most of his time in the vineyard. Eventually, Derek managed to get an appointment to visit Bouland in Morgon during his and GD founder Wayne Visser’s annual visit to Burgundy in 2019. They arrived there towards the end of the day, and it was getting dark. Bouland appears from the vineyard following a full day attending his vines and ushers Derek and Wayne to his cellar where they taste. “It was a moment locked in time”, Derek recalls. An order is placed with Bouland, on the spot, and without even asking what his wines cost. We could not quite believe it when we received the invoice (via fax!). For what these wines cost, they have to be some of the best value buys from the GD cellar.

Daniel is a hardworking, humble and discreet vigneron who works alone in his seven hectares of old Gamay vines in the Douby, Côte de Py and Delys lieux of Morgon, as well as small parcels in Chiroubles and Côte de Brouilly. His “Corcelette” Morgon vineyard is 60-75 years old. ‘’Delys’’ was planted in 1926 and in 2014 he acquired new old vine parcels.  The old vines are gnarled, goblet trained vines. The younger vines have been planted following selection massale using his old vines. These high density vines are planted on soil comprising sandtone, schist, blue diorite, sand, granite, on steep slopes at 320-400m altitude where no tractor or other piece of machinery can go.

The fruit from these very low yielding vines is hand-harvested and whole-bunch fermented (also known as carbonic maceration) in concrete vats with two pump-overs per day. The wines are then aged in old foudres followed by bottling without filtration.

When wine drinkers think about Beaujolais they first think about the fun, fresh, easy drinking Beaujolais nouveau made to be drunk the year they are released. Bouland’s wines are deep, dark, country style reds with grip and personality. Daniel recommends to keep them for at least five years in the bottle to enable the terroir to come through and up to fifteen years in the best years.

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