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2021 Reed 'Papa' Fleurie


After a run with some stunning examples of White, Rosé, and Sparkling wine we return to Red for February. Something new for us – back to France but this time to Burgundy’s southern neighbour, Beaujolais, for the 2021 Reed 'Papa' Fleurie.


Beaujolais, a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine, is predominantly crafted from the Gamay grape, characterised by its thin skin and low tannin content. As is customary with most AOC wines, it eschews varietal labelling. Beaujolais is renowned for its light-bodied red wine profile, boasting relatively elevated acidity levels. Interestingly, certain vintages yield more wine than the combined output of the Burgundy wine regions of Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais.

The nomenclature of this wine pays homage to the historical Province of Beaujolais, a prolific wine-producing region situated north of Lyon. Encompassing portions of the Rhône department, the Rhône-Alpes region, and southern sections of Saône-et-Loire in Burgundy, it holds administrative ties to Burgundy but exhibits a climate more akin to the Rhône. Beaujolais stands distinct in character, gaining international recognition for its longstanding winemaking tradition, utilisation of carbonic maceration, and the contemporary appeal of the Beaujolais nouveau.


Beaujolais is categorised into three groups based on the appellation of the vineyard from which the grapes originate. The broadest classification, Beaujolais AOC, spans across 96 villages, primarily encompassing 60 villages and representing the foundational Beaujolais wines. A substantial portion of wines under this appellation is marketed as Beaujolais Nouveau. The intermediate tier, Beaujolais-Villages AOC, includes 39 communes/villages in Haut Beaujolais, constituting a quarter of the region's production. The highest classification, Cru Beaujolais, is allocated to ten villages/areas nestled in the foothills of the Beaujolais mountains. Unlike Burgundy and Alsace, "cru" in Beaujolais denotes an entire wine-producing region rather than an individual vineyard. While seven Crus pertain to specific villages, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly encompass vineyard areas surrounding Mont Brouilly, and Moulin-à-Vent is named after a local windmill. These wines typically omit the term "Beaujolais" on labels to distinguish themselves from mass-produced Nouveau; indeed,
vineyards in the Cru villages are prohibited from producing Nouveau.

The maximum yield for Cru Beaujolais wine is capped at 48 hl/ha. Characterised by a fuller body, darker hue, and extended ageing potential, the Beaujolais crus, from north to south, comprise Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. This month’s wine is Fleurie Cru Beaujolais; this cru is known for it’s floral bouquet and medium ageing potential.


"Everyone in the world of wine has a story to tell. The motivation is often the same, but the experience is always very personal. The wines I make tell my story and are a reflection of all the lessons I have learnt along the way. Reed Wines are single vineyard expressions made by Sierra Reed in Geelong Victoria. Always an inquisitive and enthusiastic drinker, Sierra’s journey in wine began in New Zealand whilst filming with the Family of Twelve. Interviewing those leading families of New Zealand wine inspired her to change her life and begin the journey from wine drinker to winemaker. A complete immersion in winemaking followed with a rapid succession of vintages as a global nomad in Paso Robles (Hearst Ranch Winery), the Yarra Valley (Domaine Chandon), the Napa Valley (Pina), the Barossa Valley (Head Wines), Central Otago (Rippon), Beaujolais (Domain du Vissoux), the Grampians (Mount Langi Ghiran), the Napa Valley (Hunnicutt Winery), Barolo (E. Pira & Figli - Chiara Boschis), Beaujolais again (Domain du Vissoux), Geelong (Lethbridge Wines) and Rheingau (Robert Weil). The journey has left a series of lasting lessons, provided many inspirations and also created lifelong friendships. It has also led to Sierra making her first Reed-labelled wines in the 2015 vintage. Sierra’s hope is that you seek out her wines and that they bring you as much joy in their drinking as they have to her in their making.

This wine screams of its mother place Beaujolais and of the teachings of my greatest mentor Pierre Marie Chermette. Fleurie captures the purity and beauty that is Gamay and this wine is living that truth. Tart red fruits, delicate but present acid and loads of perfume shape this wine. If this wine could speak, its wisdom would educate you and its juvenile nature would charm you."

– Sierra Reed

Reed is the label of Sierra Reed – based in Torquay near Geelong but a maker of single vineyard, hand picked wines from a range of regions – who has worked with everyone, and everywhere, you would want to work if you wanted to excel as a winemaker, including with Pierre Marie Chermette in Beaujolais. I visited her last week and came away thinking that I’d just visited one of the most exciting wine producers in Australia. This wine is from Beaujolais and is of course made with gamay.

This is both delicate and insistent. It’s all red fruits and florals with sweet spice, mineral, earth and lavender pushing through. It’s unafraid of acidity because it knows that it has the balance, and the fruit, and the general interest to support it. There’s a prettiness to this wine but it’s more than that. It’s chatty. It’s interesting. Just when you think it’s going to finish it hangs on in there and keeps offering more."

94 Points
Campbell Mattinson | The Wine Front


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