Patrice Martin’s Undiscovered Cru Beaujolais
Patrice Martin's house and winery used to belong to Marie Curie — don't worry, his farming is organic, not nuclear.
A summer 2022 visit leads to our exclusive import of these fantastic wines
As soon as I arrived Patrice’s winery during the first heat wave of summer 2022 in Beaujolais I was immediately greeted by Patrice with his soil covered shirt, long curly hair, and his ever-present smile. I had heard of Patrice’s wines from a long-time exporter friend of mine, who assured me that the wines we were about to taste were exactly what I had come to Beaujolais to find: well-made, well-priced, delicious, honest, and never before in the US. As much as I trusted his opinion, we had driven quite a ways and as we climbed out of the car he quietly told me there “may not be much wine available." Not exactly the most reassuring statement to hear as I walked up to Patrice. Luckily only the first part of this was true: the part about them being well-priced and delicious. I was able to persuade Patrice to send us some wine as a Vanderbilt Ave exclusive. Starting today through Memorial Day, we're kicking off Patrice's arrival with 20% off — just use the discount code PATRICE20 at checkout.
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Patrice used to make wine with his brother Cèdric and in 2019 they decided to amicably separate the business and have two different wineries. Neither brother has ever sent any wine to the US but Patrice was more open to the idea. Both brothers live in Chanes, a tiny village right on the edge of Pouilly-Fuisse and Beaujolais. Patrice’s house and winery is actually Marie Curie’s old house; though he has left the nuclear history of the house behind and now farms every parcel himself organically. Most parcels are very old vines in heralded areas of the appellations and all plantings are massale selections.
Importantly, two aspects of the wines put them head and shoulders above their peers - depth and price. Patrice intentionally harvests later than his neighbors, a contrarian practice compared to almost every other winemaker these days. His attention to the farming allows him to keep grapes healthy longer into the season. Riper grapes, according to Patrice, means he can use a lighter hand in the winery but still maintain depth, aromatic, complexity, and structure. Yields are always super low — no more than 2 tonnes per acre — and all fermentations are native. And in terms of price, as you’ll see, for the money it’s a LOT of wine.
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