January 2024

January 2024

Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Côte de Brouilly Gamay

  • Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
  • Region: Beaujolais, France
  • Varietals: 100% Gamay
  • Alcohol: 12%

Jean Paul Brun, based in Charnay, Southern Beaujolais, is renowned for creating delightful wines at his family's 60+ hectare estate. Emphasizing "old-style" Beaujolais, Brun diverges from regional norms by using indigenous yeasts for a purer Gamay expression, avoiding artificial enhancers like industrial yeasts and excessive sugar. His low-alcohol, minimally filtered wines focus on natural fruit flavors and aromas, with minimal S02 to maintain freshness. Brun's expanding empire now includes over 20 wines from various Beaujolais crus, showcasing his commitment to authentic winemaking.

The 2021 Côte de Brouilly is an introverted, medium-bodied Gamay wine, displaying lively notes of plums, cherries, licorice, and spices. With vines aged 40 to 55 years, facing east on a steep slope with poor granite and iron soils, it follows traditional Burgundian vinification, including 3-4 weeks of maceration and concrete aging for 6-8 months. Time may allow it to fully unveil its potential.


J. Brix Signs + Wonders Vol. IV

  • Producer: J. Brix
  • Region: Santa Barbara, California
  • Varietals: Grenache, Carignan, Reisling
  • Alcohol: 12.9%

J. Brix Wines, founded by Jody and Emily Towe, exemplifies a passionate and personal approach to winemaking. Their journey began in the Santa Maria Valley, where a bottle of Pinot noir inspired them to volunteer as harvest interns, igniting their love for the winemaking process. This hands-on experience laid the foundation for their own venture, J. Brix Wines.

Jody Towe, with his background in horticulture, brings a deep understanding of plant physiology to their winemaking. This knowledge is crucial in interpreting how each growing season uniquely impacts the vines, fruit, and ultimately the wine. His intuition, honed through years of working with plants, plays a pivotal role in making winemaking decisions that vary with each harvest.

Emily Towe, on the other hand, is captivated by stories. As a writer and designer, she finds great joy in the storytelling aspect of winemaking. Each year presents a new, unscripted narrative, which she skillfully translates into written and graphic forms, adding a unique dimension to their wines.

The Towes' philosophy in winemaking, as in life, is guided by the motto "Only Love." This is reflected in their minimalist approach to winemaking. They use neutral vessels, native-yeast fermentation, and minimal intervention, only adding sulfur dioxide as necessary. This approach eschews fining, filtering, or cold-stabilizing the wines, allowing the natural character of the wine to shine through.

J. Brix Wines is characterized by its diversity and experimentation. The Towes are continually compelled to explore new grapes and styles, adding a new variety with each harvest. Their fruit is sourced from various soul-stirring vineyards across California, highlighting the region's rich variety. The small quantities they produce underscore their commitment to quality and exploration.

In summary, J. Brix Wines stands as a testament to the Towes' dedication to authentic, story-driven winemaking. Their journey from volunteer interns to co-winemakers showcases their passion for the craft, their respect for the natural process, and their love for the stories each bottle of wine tells.

In their ongoing painter's-palette cellar experiment's fourth edition, creativity knows no bounds, and a distinctive blend is crafted from unexpected varietals. Volume IV boasts a juicy, chillable mix with Grenache, old-vine Carignan, and Riesling—a versatile choice for various BBQ delights.


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