Photo Credit: Lieu Dit Selections

Yvon & Jules Métras - have you ever really even tasted Beaujolais before?

by Garrett Smith

The story takes many turns and has been kept well under raps for decades - Yvon never had an American importer, so the bottles would come over in suitcases and be shared in quiet moments with a great friend. This could go one of two ways, generally - pomposity and egotism, or humbleness & pride; Yvon embodied the latter, a man who would rather tend his vines than host appointments, and sell to close friends than foreign markets. 

As with producers like Rayas, Métras doesn't disclose his methods in the cellars; what we do know is that he is the keeper of some of the oldest vines in Beaujolais, with plantings back to the late 19th century, partially explaining the unparalleled depth and finesse of his wines. Somehow, even with the mind-blowing concentration of flavor, there is an extra-ordinary lift on the palate, unexplainably so. 

Yvon's first solo vintage, outside of the co-op for whom he had worked, was 1988; he inherited the estate of Romanèche-Thorins and its 5 hectares, and was lucky enough to cross paths with his neighbor, Marcel Lapierre, whose natural winemaking philosophies were learned from the Godfather of Beaujolais, Jules Chauvet, and subsequently fully embraced by Yvon; putting these methods into practice formed the path to creating such legendary wines. 

The Fleurie comes from the two oldest vineyard plots, and mixes his hallmark unctuous quality with s brightness - there is some carbonic maceration to his wines, elevating the aromatics - and a slight spice from Fleurie's trademark pink granite soils. Les Printemps is from younger vines (again, this is relative with Métras), and is softer on the palate with elegant floral notes. Premiere Mise is sourced from the oldest vines of his Cercillon plot in Fleurie, another legendary "V.V." bottling!


Finally, the latest acquisition of Yvon was in 2006 when he came across a half-hectare of Moulin-a-Vent, oft considered the finest of all Beaujolais crus, possessing a unique, iron ore minerality that is reminiscent of so many of the Cote d'Or's top vineyards. Wrap that up with his trademark finesse, and well, close your eyes and you're in Vosne. 

Jules, Yvon's son followed suit in a way, though he came back to Beaujolais after his schooling and harvests in the Southern Hemisphere. His father had started to wrangle the old vines in the rear of his new cellar outside of Fleurie, where a vineyard had been largely unkept for years. From here, Jules' first wine emerged; what would follow were two additional vineyards, one of which had been the property of the legendary Jules Chauvet himself.  


Bijou is coined after a local phrase describing wine as "pure, magnificent", and is sourced from multiple parcels including the 80+ year-old vines from behind the cellar. Chica came about as Jules lost the entirety of his harvest in 2022 for the Bijou & Chiroubles, so he crafted a wine with collaboration from his friends Marc Delienne, Claire Chasselay, and the Robert Denogent brothers. Chiroubles La Montagne comes from a high-elevation plot of 60+ year-old vines, and is fresh yet ripe, the balance of healthy sun exposure with the slope providing bright acidity. 


Check out the full collection here!


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