Since 1973, Alain has crafted Beaujolais wines that are more akin to wines from the Cote d’Or than the more typical “fruity” style local wines. I was convinced the first time I tasted his Brouilly that it was one of the best examples of a young Beaujolais that I have ever had. And, after visiting the estate frequently and each time being teased with magnums of old vintages going as far back as the late 1980s, I became a complete believer in the abilities of this man and his terroir. He is one one of Becky Wasserman’s longest standing growers in her extraordinary collection of domaines, and I can see why. The wines are made from very old vines (the average 60 years) and are gorgeous and refined, clearly wines that are made by a master vigneron. Alain, now in the twilight of his career, considered selling his vineyards (in fact, to my dismay, he already sold his Morgon vines) because none of his children wanted to continue his work. Thankfully, after a recent change of heart with one of his daughters, this great tradition will continue on for a fourth generation.
Lay Of The Land
Alain Michaud’s estate is composed of an average of 60-year-old vines spread throughout the rolling hills Brouilly. Brouilly, the southernmost “cru village” in Beaujolais, sits just south of the famous Morgon. Though the wines can be diverse due to a wide variety of soils, more than your typical Beaujolais fruit bomb, they are often more mineral, meaty and floral in style than there brethren to the north. The climate of Beaujolais is semi-continental and due to the slight Mediterranean influence, the region enjoys cool winters and hot, dry summers that begin early and last late into the fall. This creates and ideal growing season because the vines are able to enjoy prolonged sunlight hours.