The 2015 vintage is set to be one of the great Beaujolais years – but even this might not be enough to save the region from further heartache, according to one of the region's top winemakers.
'2015 is exceptional,' said Laurent Chevalier, winemaker at Henry Fessy. 'It's already almost as good as 2009 and might become even better. The wines are very ripe, but also with acidity, so the balance is very good.'
The only downside for a vintage with good colour, powdery tannins, elegance and perfume is that volumes are slightly down. While 2014 saw yields of around 45-50hl/ha, 2015 was around 35-40hl/ha.
In spite of lower volumes, prices are not expected to rise, and growers majoring on Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages wines will probably continue to find life difficult.
'Beaujolais has been hard for growers for a long time,' said Chevalier. 'The image is good [in the trade] especially after 2009 and 2010, but it's difficult to sell. People like it when they try it, but they're not buying it in the same quantities as before.'
The 2015 Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages wines should be hitting the market in the next few months, with Cru wines such as Brouilly, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent due out around December this year.