The ten Crus of Beaujolais are known for producing the best red Beaujolais wines made from the Gamay grape. Each Cru is given its own unique name reserved only for bottles made with fruit from a specific region with a climate and soil combination that results in a distinct wine personality. Juliénas is one of these ten Crus. While most Beaujolais is light and gulp-able, this wine has more color, flavor, texture and all-around personality. The vineyards of Juliénas, one of the northernmost Crus, are characterized by their south easterly facing slopes in the foothills of France's Massif Central range. The vines are densely planted, mainly in soils of decomposed granite and trained in the freestanding goblet style. The arrangement helps control vine vigor and bunch yield, resulting in a smaller volume of more deeply colored, ripe grapes. Harvesting happens by hand.
The wine is made using the method of carbonic, or semi-carbonic maceration, in which whole bunches of grapes are loaded into a closed vat. Juice is squeezed out of the bottom bunches from the weight of the grapes above and begin to ferment normally. At the top of the vat, an intracellular fermentation takes place inside the berries. As the process continues more and more juice is released. After nearly 10 days the fermentation is complete and the wine is pressed into separate tanks or barrels where the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. After 6-9 months the wine is ready to bottle.
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