Inside Beaujolais: Masters at Work


Inside Beaujolais: Masters at Work

Wine Team New York |

Since the 1990s, winemaker Yvon Métras has been crafting Beaujolais with a rigor, purity, and single-minded passion that’s garnered a worldwide cult following. His wines are very rare, crafted off just six hectares of land, and difficult to find even in France – so landing this exceptional allocation has been a major cause for celebration here at Sotheby’s.

A devotee of Jules Chauvet, the godfather of natural winemaking, the reticent, reclusive Métras is typically associated with the “Gang of Four” who pioneered organic farming in Beaujolais: Marcel Lapierre, Jean Foillard, Guy Breton, and Jean-Paul Thévenet.

Yet Métras has quietly carved a path of his own, resisting commercialization and barely speaking to the press even as he pursues ever-stricter protocols to coax transcendence from the Gamay grape. The wines achieve a seemingly impossible feat: ethereal lightness and lift paired with profound depth and intense ripeness.

On a domaine just outside Fleurie, he employs decades-old pieces of farming equipment nimble enough to climb the hilly slopes. His approach is unsparing and labor-intensive: severe pruning, hand-harvesting, carbonic maceration, indigenous yeasts, no sulphites. And then there is that magic, mysterious Yvon Métras touch—the gruff savoir-faire that brings these wines to the precipice of perfection, voluptuous without sacrificing an iota of poetic expression.

Our dynamite selection of Métras cuvées is complemented by a host of other top Beaujolais producers who are producing some of the region’s most exciting wines. Anne-Sophie Dubois’s whole-cluster Fleuirie Les Cocottes is a vivid revelation of fresh red fruit while Jean Foillard’s Beaujolais-Villages is the platonic lunch wine—a juicy, tart pairing for a jambon beurre or salade niçoise. 

These stunning bottlings, highlighted by Métras’s crown jewels, showcase the vitality and natural beauty that has made Beaujolais the modern wine buyer’s dream.

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