Chateau des Bachelards St Armour 2019


I cannot get over how beautiful the wines of Chateau des Bachelard’s are. The prices of Beaujolais, like all of French classic wines have increased ridiculously in recent years, and though not cheap, this range of wines are some of the country’s finest. Stunning aromatics of sweet and tangy red fruits. English strawberry, raspberry, dark cherry, rhubarb and cut flowers. Deep, concentrated, pure and elegant, walking a line of casual imperiousness. Textural, buoyant acidy and mineral tannins. So long and fine and without a doubt, the finest wine of the appellation. Waters Wine Co

Deep nose with savory and spicy complexity and a slew of subtle red-fruit aromas. Light-years removed from the easy-going Saint Amours that cash in on the appeal of this cru’s name. Wonderful, velvety texture on the generous but beautifully balanced palate. I love the fine-grained tannins that support the long, elegant finish. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drink or hold. 94 Points, James Suckling

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Producer Profile

Chateau des Bachelards has a history dating back over 900 years, founded by Benedictine monks. Seven hectares of vines surround the chateau, all Fleurie, with a further six hectares in Moulin-a-Vent and Saint-Armour. De Vazeilles acquired the chateau in 2007 and set about converting all of the vineyards to biodynamics. Since 2015 all vineyards are demeter certified, the only producer to have such accreditation in Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie and Saint-Armour.

For every 1000 vines planted, De Vazeilles plants 500 randomly from a massal collection. For someone who has cut their teeth at Domaine de Montille, Domaine Roulot and Chateau Latour, you would think this is a leap of faith. But the great wines of the past were from vineyards often co-planted with a far larger clonal selection. Diversity was prized, not just for its own sake, but as vinous insurance and the wines were no doubt, more complex. There are simply a greater number of variables.

High density planting, here a cool 10000 per hectare, has its challenges such as humidity and sufficient water in dry years. Between the vines, competition is encouraged with the planting of herbs, flowers and shrubs, native to the region. Competition and biodiversity encourage a natural covering of the soil and decrease the level of humidity in the vineyards. Vineyard resources are enviable. Indeed, quite possibly the finest vineyard in Beaujolais, Le Clos des Bachelards, is a monopole of the estate. If you think a Saint-Amour, Moulin-a-Vent or Beaujolais should be light, then you haven’t tasted these.

The winemaking is as fastidious as the viticulture. Vines are aged between 60 and 100 years, grapes handpicked and placed into small crates holding no more than 16kg. There is absolutely no carbonic maceration here. 100% destemmed and gavity fed into concrete vats for sponataneous fermentation, spending up to 4 weeks on skins, before transferring to foudre, for up to 22 months.

In the strictest sense, the wines of Chateau des Bachelards are traditional. Darkly coloured, fragrant, deep, rich, tannic and full bodied, with the poise, mid palate flesh and dark fruit profile of Vosne-Romanee. Serious, brooding and extracted, they nonetheless possess a chisel and cut of their cashmere skins.

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