Domaine Jules Desjourneys
The owner of Domaine Jules Desjourneys is Fabien Duperray, fine connoisseur of Burgundy and Beaujolais terroirs. Fabien Duperray has distributed some of the finest estates of Burgundy (such as Arnaud Ente, Jean-Yves Bizot, Coche-Dury, Roumier) for over 25 years, but until 2007 he had no vineyards of his own. He finally turned his hand to winemaking in 2007 when he took the opportunity to acquire some small parcels of very old vines in Fleurie and Moulin‐à‐Vent (Beaujolais) with the ambition of making the greatest wine possible. The vines are all more than 70 years old with most of them clocking in over 100 years in age. Within a few years, he set up a domain that has turned out to already be iconic 15 years later in Beaujolais and overall Burgundy. Domaine Jules Desjourneys produces, vintage after vintage, wines of a rare density, even unknown for the region.
Bear in mind that 70 years ago, the wines of South Burgundy were well recognized and appreciated. Historical trading records show that a barrel of Moulin à Vent, Fleurie, Morgon or Chenas used to be sold at the same price as wines from Cote de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanee and Clos de Vougeot. Fabien wanted to bring back the fame and nobility to the Crus du Beaujolais and to challenge – back again – the Grands Crus of Cote de Nuit.
Fabien is profoundly attached to the Beaujolais region and the Gamay grape, a variety that is much more demanding than Pinot Noir according to him. Gamay, a cousin of Pinot Noir as they both share the same parent, Gouais Blanc, has even more drinkability and sapidity than Pinot Noir.
To produce the best, Fabien has chosen to apply biodynamics principles and an entirely manual way of working. The cost of manual labour is very high and the yields very low.
Fabien hires up from 1 to 2 people per hectare – the double of what Mme Leroy does, for the green works of springtime and summer. This surgical work, attention to the details and time spent on tending each vine is tremendous.
The importance of this agronomical work done on the soils and on the vines provides, on top of great concentration for each grape, excellent balances between acidity and phenolic maturities.
Harvest: Fabien wants his grapes to be picked up at full maturity. The grapes are sorted on the vine and upon arrival at the cellar on a treadmill, then double-sorted by an optical machine.
Vinification: Fabien likes extracting the tannins of his grapes – as each grape is very concentrated – in order to vinify a wine for a long ageing. Hence the incredible density of his wines. Please note that Fabien only releases his wines after 10 years of cellaring. Unique!
Since 2014, Fabien has expanded next door in Fuissé - a 7 minutes’ drive - producing a lovely range of white wines in cooperation with Christophe Thibert. Christophe Thibert has a beautiful heritage of vineyards and managed an excellent organic viticulture while Fabien has a real know-how of Chardonnay vinification and elevage. Arnaud Ente and Fabien have known each other for over 30 years and have experimented a lot on Chardonnay over the last three decades.
Jules Desjournyes white wines motto is: “The sky as a limit!” It is an outstanding range of white wines such as Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles and St-Véran as well as a series of Mâcon wines that can seriously question Côte de Beaune’s whites!
His ratings from renowned wine critics (such as Robert Parker, Allen Meadows, Michel Bettane and Thierry Dessauve) defy all the other estates of the region. They awarded Fabien Duperray “Revelation of the year” in 2013.